Danville player Love Mays commits to UT-Martin

Published 5:20 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Coach Judie Mason never doubted that Love Mays was a Division I basketball player. Even when the scholarship offers were slow to come for the Danville High School senior point guard, Mason knew how special she was.

Mays averaged 21.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Admirals during their 30-3 season that ended with a loss to Mercer County in the 12th Region title game.

“We won 30 games and Love had an awful lot to do with it,” Mason said.

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Tennessee-Martin coach Kevin McMillan agreed after watching Love play in the 45th District and 12th Region Tournaments. That’s when he decided to offer the Danville guard a scholarship and she committed to UT-Martin Wednesday.

“Coach said he was going to go through the (transfer) portal (for a guard) but once he watched her play he decided she was worth the chance,” Mason said. “He needs a point guard. So this is not only a Division I scholarship but it is a chance to play on a team that had a lot of freshmen and sophomores this season.”

Mays talked to former Kentucky Miss Basketball Seygan Robins, a UT-Martin senior, and Ella Thompson of Bethlehem, a UT-Martin sophomore.

“It was a big decision. She has some NAIA offers closer to home but this was Division I,” the Danville coach said. “She fell in love with the campus. I also told her whether it was four hours or one hour from home, she was not coming home if she played Division I basketball.

“I am just so excited for her. She worked her way into this position and changed who she was so much as a player and person the last three years. I am probably more excited than her.”

Mays understands this is a “big opportunity” for her.

“I had to think about what was best for my family and this was just not something I could pass up,” Mays said. “Playing Division I is always a dream for young players. As you get older you just want to continue playing but I knew if I worked hard enough and listened to my coaches and played to my talent that I could get to Division I.

“Basketball has always been an outlet for me. It’s always been very important. Basketball is my safe place and I just think this is the best choice for me. They have a young team and I will just have to use my abilities and prove to them I can play.”

Mays will be playing in “The Battle at the Border” April 8 at Thomas More College that matches senior all-star teams from Kentucky and Ohio.

“Honestly, I am still in shock about that. It’s almost surreal,” Mays said. “I never thought I would be in a position to do something like that. I worked hard for it. It is amazing to see how far everybody has brought me and how I have pushed myself to get here. I am excited for this opportunity also and looking for another chance just to show how I can play.”