By Trent Johnson
Folks in the area have likely heard of Vernon Davis.
The DC native was a standout football and basketball player at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and then at the University of Maryland. In the 2006 NFL draft, he was taken sixth overall by the San Francisco 49ers, where he became the all-time franchise leader for tight ends in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Davis has accumulated accolades in the form of Pro Bowl berths, All-Pro selections and even a Super Bowl victory. At his best, Davis was an overwhelming athlete standing 6-foot-3 and weighing about 250 lbs.
Despite his abundantly successful career on the gridiron, athletics weren’t his first love. When he was a child, his grandmother often found him with his head down, focusing on a drawing of his favorite cartoon or painting his blue jeans. Davis was – and still is – infatuated with the arts.
“I was painting Donald Duck and the Tasmanian Devil, and I didn’t understand why I was intrigued,” Davis says. “Two years ago, I found out that my biological grandfather was an artist, so now it makes sense why I did what I did.”
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