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NEW YORK – It’s already been the stuff of dreams and history for one of the “Cinderella” teams in the men’s NCAA Tournament in 2023, including a native from Northwest Indiana who has contributed to it.

Florida Atlantic got their first two wins ever in the “Big Dance” last week over Memphis and Farleigh Dickenson on Columbus to advance to the Sweet 16. During that second round triumph, Gary native Johnell Davis made some NCAA Tournament history thanks to his multi-faceted performance last Sunday.

He scored 29 points, collected a career-high 12 rebounds, five assists, and five steals for the Owls in the win over the Knights. In the process, Davis became the first player to get at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five steals in the same tournament game in Division I.

“I really don’t care about the stats. My team just kept feeding me the ball. Shots going in,” said Davis after Sunday’s performance in Columbus. “I put the work in. And it shows in the box score.”

A former Indiana state All-Star at 21st Century School in Gary, Davis is in his third year at Florida Atlantic, seeing a steady increase in playing time. In 2022-2023, he’s started 13 of the 34 games he’s played in, scoring 13.9 points a game while grabbing 5.4 rebounds a contest as well.

With Davis’ contributions, the Owls have set a school record for wins (33) and highest national ranking (19th) to go along with their first Sweet 16 appearance.

Next up for the Gary native and his teammates are the fourth-seeded Tennessee Volunteers in the East Region semifinals on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. central time at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Having made history to help Florida Atlantic get here, Davis looks ahead to another great moment as he steps into one of the most iconic basketball arenas in the country as the stage in “March Madness” grows.

“Just being here, this is my first time being here, so I was just soaking everything in,” said Davis on Wednesday when talking about playing in Madison Square Garden. “But just being here really coming from where I come from, you don’t see nobody like this for real.”

Performances like the one Davis put on to get the Owls here are pretty rare, too.