My “Go To” Man

October 20, 2012

Davis Mitchell Carlson was born September 17th, 1994. Davis was the best at everything. Basketball, baseball, soccer, golf, you name it, and Davis was a standout in it. He was my enemy when I first started playing sports. Davis impacted my life in many ways. He started out as my enemy, he then became my teammate and close friend, he then became my brother. Davis Carlson was untouchable, unbreakable, and respected by all who crossed him in any game, match, or round.
I played on the Elger Bay Elementary basketball team. Our rival School was Utsalady Elementary, lead by Kevin Hofstad, Drew Sears, and big man on campus, #23 Davis Carlson. The terrible three did all they could to make my life miserable. All three of them had the nicest gear and never missed a shot. I had my cheap Adidas shoes and a funky looking jump shot. Both years I played them they came out in their red jerseys that I was always so jealous of, my team had plain white and black, nothing special. They beat us every year. I played my heart out and scored the most out of anyone on my team, but Davis always had an answer. He rarely missed, and it drove me crazy. Kevin always taunted me and talked mad trash for a 3rd grader, Drew was super tall and no one could ever stop him down in the post. Davis had the outside shot with beautiful form that always went in. I hated that Utsalady Elementary team, and Davis’ jumper made me sick, and whenever I thought of the terrible three, I had a bad taste in my mouth.
In 4th grade I was asked to join a travel team for the city of Stanwood. I was overjoyed; you had to be a standout player in order to even be asked to tryout for the team. But, there was only one travel team in town. That meant the terrible three were there. I was being forced to play with them. It was strange at first, but we were only ten years old, we were playing well together in no time, and I loved playing with Davis, whenever I passed him the ball, he scored, so my assist average went up. He always made the extra pass to me too, when he was open, but I was one pass away, he would throw it to me. No one ever did that! It was just how Davis worked. He was a team player, he put others before himself, even though he had the most beautiful shot. Our team was flawless in no time; we have Kevin at point guard, me at shooting guard, Davis at Small Forward, and big baby Drew at center. We all played together now, and we grew on each other. I loved those guys and they loved me, Davis became my teammate and more importantly, one of my best friends.
Halfway through the season, news came to our team. Our best player, Davis, had been diagnosed with Leukemia. A disease rarely found in a child. Kevin, Drew, and I visited Davis as soon as we could in the Children’s Hospital in Seattle. The hospital was all bright and happy throughout the hallways, full of colorful paintings and purple and teal hallways. The rooms were white. Davis’ hospital robe was white. He was white. His bed sheets were white. His father’s face was white. No expression. Our parents warned us Davis might cry and be sad when we saw him. We walked in and he was all smiles. I thought my parents were crazy for telling us he was sad, he joked with us, he laughed with us. I thought nothing was wrong. Nothing could hold Davis down. He would be back in no time. Our team began to play for him, we won our games without him and ended the year on a strong note. We went throughout the year constantly visiting Davis and venturing the city of Seattle with him. He became much more then a friend, a brother. Davis had chemotherapy every week. It turned him all white and he didn’t move much. I saw the red strips from the machine enter his body slowly through the tube connected to his wrist. I had no clue how sick it made him. I knew it made him bald though. So Kevin, Drew, and I shaved our heads for him, and we started our 5th grade basketball season playing bald for him. Davis would be back playing with us that year, even the doctors said he was progressing.
December 25th, 2005, Davis Mitchell Carlson died in the Children’s Hospital in Seattle. He was at a Seahawks game, he told his dad he didn’t feel well, so his dad took him back to the hospital, he was laid in bed, and died there that night. My mom told me the news, my stomach shot up to my throat. It stayed there for months. My mind couldn’t comprehend that I would never see him again at such a young age. He would be back playing with us in no time. I would be back at his house playing football with him and Kevin and Drew next weekend. I grew my hair back out. I didn’t like having hair. The last time I saw Davis, he was in our baseball team uniform, lying in his coffin, still bald. I had the honor of carrying Davis’ coffin, with Kevin, Drew, and Davis’ dad and a few other relatives. I later learned that Davis was told that he was going to die. He told everyone not to tell Kevin, Drew, and I. I love Davis for that. It defines who he was, selfless. Davis is always with me on the court, my go to man.
“Michael Jordan and Lebron James aren’t the only heroes to wear the Number 23.”
-Nate DuChesne in Davis Carlson’s memorial speech.
Luke DuChesne