JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – Drivers passing through Jacksonville might think the town has been renamed. A billboard saying “WELCOME TO DEVO-VILLE!” stands on the side of Highway 167 now honoring the city’s hometown hog hero.
Davonte “Devo” Davis played the best game of his season Saturday when led the razorbacks in points scored to take down the 1-seed Kansas.
He’s been at it since age four his family said, and he’s already received the key to the city. There’s a lot of pride for this Jacksonville native.
An emotional hug and “I love you” from Coach Musselman to Devo has been watched over 800-thousand times since the win as of Monday evening.
If all of Jacksonville could hug Devo as tightly as Coach Musselman did Saturday night, they might.
Wishing him the best over a thousand miles from Vegas’ Sweet 16 matchups, they’re honoring him at home the best way they can. Now, people entering Jacksonville will be welcomed to Devo-Ville too.
Devo has had a name and license deal with First Arkansas Bank and Trust since the 2021-2022 season. The first Devo-Ville billboard went up then.
According to Terri Holmes, there are two you can find in town. Holmes is Davis’ proud mom. When she first heard Devo-Ville she liked the ring of it.
“I think it was pretty awesome. I guess that’s kind of tight. It’s really hot,” she said.
Watching him play at Jacksonville High, Jacksonville Lighthouse School, and even earlier, she knew Davis always wanted to make his state proud as a Razorback. He even said, “I’m a Hog” after sinking baskets on home video.
The junior Razorback guard did make his state proud when he scored 21 points in the second half of Saturday’s playoff game to beat reigning champions and 1-seed Kansas 72-71.
Devo’s post-game interview brought him to tears and as his mom can attest, it went viral.
“I’m emotional now thinking about it. Man just his passion is there, and if the world didn’t realize it, they realized it then. Me, I’ve been knowing,” Holmes said.
Holmes has always tried to make it to every game, and she said as far as “Bussin Devo” goes, Saturday was “probably the best game” she’s been to.
She shared that Devo had one more secret motivation for the win against Kansas. To convince his mother to make the seven-hour drive to Des Moines, Iowa he told her this.
“He said it’s granny’s birthday. I’m going to go off. That’s what he said. I’m going to go off,” Holmes remembered. “She ended up texting him after the game that is the best birthday gift ever.”
When it comes to giving Arkansas fans the best gift ever, Holmes says Devo won’t take no for answer.
“I’ve got faith in them. We’ve done made it to the Elite 8 twice. You know, they’re going all the way this year,” Holmes stated.
“Y’all can beat anybody,” she added.
8-seed Arkansas and 4-seed U-Conn will face off at 6:15 P.M. Thursday inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.