Jae’oni Davis with her award.

Yesterday, May 16, Hostos Community College student Jae'oni Davis was recognized at the 37th CUNY Athletic Conference Annual Michael Steuerman Scholar-Athlete Awards Dinner, held at Terrace on the Park in Queens, where she received recognition as the 2024 CUNYAC Community College Student-Athlete of the Year. 

Davis epitomizes athletic prowess, resilience, cultural richness, talent, and a relentless drive to excel in all facets of life. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., and mainly raised in Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx, Davis represents a rich tapestry of Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Black heritage, propelling her to become a proud ambassador for her communities. Her commitment to both academics and athletics culminated in her earning the title of 2024 CUNYAC Student-Athlete of the Year.
(L-R) Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management La Toro Yates, Jae’oni Davis, Assistant Director of Athletics Marquee Poole, and Director of Athletics Brent Wilson at the award ceremony.

Her academic, athletic, and personal journey has taken her from junior colleges in Brooklyn, Florida, and Texas back to the Bronx. Despite residing in various states, Davis’ roots have always been deeply embedded in the Bronx, nurtured by the unwavering presence of her Dominican mother and extended family in the borough and in neighboring Washington Heights. Transitioning from soccer and dance in her formative years to basketball in college highlighted her natural athleticism and determination to tackle new challenges. "I've been athletic my whole life," she states. This foundational strength set the stage for her remarkable achievements on the court. 

In the 2023-24 season, Davis's athletic prowess was on full display. She started 14 out of 25 basketball games, averaging 9.7 points and 3.2 assists per game, totaling 243 points. Her standout moment came as the 2024 CUNYAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Reflecting on her journey, Davis notes, "Basketball has brought me so many opportunities. It is a sport that changed my life." Beyond the basketball court, Davis's commitment to excellence extends into her academic pursuits.

Davis playing during the 2023-24 season.

At Hostos Community College, Davis is not just a star on the court but also in the classroom. As a Physical Education Science major, she has excelled academically, boasting an impressive GPA of 3.55. Her multifaceted talents have been recognized and celebrated, earning her numerous scholarships, including a special recognition from Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis at her 2023 Recognition Tea for Students' Resilience and one of the 2024 Fashion Scholarship Fund awards. 

“Jae’oni is a young woman driven by exceptional dedication who exemplifies the spirit of Hostos with this outstanding achievement. She brilliantly balanced her rigorous academic pursuits with athletic excellence, truly embodying the holistic educational ideals we cherish at the College,” said Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis.

Looking ahead, she envisions a future where her passion for sports and her academic pursuits in kinesiology intersect. Her focus will be on training and therapy for female athletes, an area she believes is underserved. Her ultimate goal is to establish a facility that provides comprehensive support, including physical training, injury prevention, and mental health services, tailored to the unique needs of female athletes. "I want to pursue this dream of treating female athletes because we lack a lot of resources, and I want to change that," she asserts.

For his part, Athletics Director Brent Wilson shares, “Jea’oni has exemplified what it means to be a student-athlete. I could not be more proud of how she has represented Hostos and our Women’s Basketball Program. I am excited to see where she decides to attend school next. I just know wherever that is, she will continue to excel in the classroom and on the court.”

Reflecting on her accolade as CUNYAC Student-Athlete of the Year, Davis views it as a tribute to her community, her heritage, and the values her family instilled in her. "Winning this award isn't just about my performance on the court. This accomplishment is about representing my people and my team, who have become family; we are tight. And I feel with this award that my ‘abuela’ [grandmother], although no longer with us, is with me; she is the one that is looking after me and letting me know that this was worth it,” she concludes. 

About Eugenio María de Hostos Community College

Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for over half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.
Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate secure transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. A two-time Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence finalist, the College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos also boasts both men's and women's basketball teams, which have won multiple CUNY Athletic Conference and National Junior College Athletic Association championships, with the women's team making history in 2024 as the only team ever to secure seven consecutive titles in CUNY’s history. The College is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 25 colleges.
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