LeBron James once said, “I don’t know how tall I am or how much I weigh. Because I don’t want anybody to know my identity. I’m like a superhero. Call me Basketball Man.” With a firm grasp on the basketball, a determined perseverance to get to the rim, and an unmatched skill set, it’s not James who is the superhero of the Gold Nuggets team—it’s Don’yeah Mayfield.Mayfield, a senior public health major from Vicksburg, Miss., is averaging 11.9 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, and 1.4 blocks per game. Her 11.9 points come from 36 percent shooting from the three point line, 37 percent from the field, and 67 percent from the free throw line.
Like James, Mayfield started at a young age. Whereas James found solace on a basketball court in fourth grade, Mayfield started a little bit earlier. “I first started playing basketball when I was in second grade,” Mayfield said. “My mom was my coach actually, like YMCA, kiddie ball, that kind of thing.” From there, Mayfield, who is now 5’11, continued her basketball career. In high school, she played for Vicksburg High School. There she was a two-time Vicksburg Post newspaper Player of the Year. She averaged 15.8 points and 12 rebounds as a senior. Her game highs at Vicksburg included a 33 point outing and 22 rebounds.
When asked to recall the best moment of her basketball career, Mayfield’s face lites up.“When I scored the winning bucket for my high school team to win the championships,” Mayfield said. After high school, Mayfield attended Tennessee State University and South Alabama before finding her home at Xavier, which she chose because of the coaching staff and academics.She said that the hardest part of being a student athlete is balancing practice, games, and academics But she wouldn’t trade it for the feeling she has on the court.“It’s [the court] kind of like a safe place,” Mayfield explained. “I tune everything out. When I’m out there playing basketball, I really just have fun.”
Like Superman was just Clark Kent when he wasn’t saving the world and LeBron James is a father when he’s not playing basketball, off the court, Mayfield is a Xavier student who is watching movies, eating Bluebell Ice-cream, and cheering on her favorite teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Sky.
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