Former South Carolina sprinter and six-time NCAA Champion Demetria (Washington) Davis (1999-2003) has always been known as “Mama Dee.” It’s only appropriate that she now has a big family of her own for her to watch over and for them to see her be inducted into the University South Carolina Association of Lettermen’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I was really excited,” Davis said about hearing the news. “(Athletics Director) Coach (Ray) Tanner called and told me. I was so humbled. He made my day!
“When I was on the team at South Carolina, they called me ‘Mama Dee.’ I would take teammates to the store, and I was always making sure they had things that they needed. People still call me that today. I play flag football now, and some of the women call me that.”
Davis is the mother of Keana (Turner) (29), Christian (21), Darren (19), Britton (14), and Regan Lilly (8). She’s also a grandmother who currently lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she has her own business as a private chef and caterer. She and her husband, Christopher, are also pastors and are very involved in their community.
“I’ve always cooked, and that’s another reason they called me ‘Mama Dee,’” Davis said. “I’ve been cooking since I was eight years old. I just love it.”
After cooking some meals while entertaining some of their fellow pastors a few years back, a colleague suggested she start her own business.
“It took off! I started by thinking I was only going to do private dinners for maybe 25 people or less. Then it went 50 or less, and now I’ve cooked for as many as 300 people. It gives me an adrenaline rush as if I were running. How I felt when I was running, and I was focused, that’s how I am when I’m cooking.”
Oh, and she was cooking on the track back in the day! She specialized in the 400 meters, and in addition to being a six-time NCAA Champion, she was part of the South Carolina women’s outdoor track and field team that won the 2002 NCAA championship, the first team title in any sport for the Gamecocks. Her 21 All-American honors remain the most in school history, and she was recognized as the 2002 National Indoor Athlete of the Year. Washington was part of the 4×4 relay team that posted a time of 3:26.46, which stood as the fastest time in Gamecock history for 20 years until 2022.
Following graduation, she was a gold medalist on the United States’ 2003 4×4 relay team at the World Championships and won the silver…