By CBSLA Staff

SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) – Former San Diego State basketball player Trimaine Davis participated in Super Bowl LV’s coin toss Sunday, among three people selected by the NFL for helping others during the coronavirus pandemic.

Davis is the retention coordinator of UCLA’s Vice-Provost’s Initiative for Pre-College Scholars. The partnership between UCLA and the Los Angeles and Pasadena school districts prepare historically underrepresented students in 10 high schools to become competitively eligible for admission to UCLA and other flagship universities.

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The VIP Scholars program also encourages the pursuit of graduate and professional education using a social justice framework and holistic approach.

During the pandemic, Davis has made it a priority to ensure both his students and members of their households have devices and internet access to help bridge the digital divide. He secured hotspots, laptops, and tablets for his students and hosted tech workshops for families to learn how to make use of the devices.

The 37-year-old Davis was joined on the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida by fellow honorary captains Suzie Dornier, the coronavirus intensive care unit nurse manager at Tampa General Hospital, and James Martin, a Marine Corps veteran from Pittsburgh, who has supported veterans, high school athletes, and local youth during the pandemic.

Dornier tossed the coin.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity just to showcase that all three of us, myself, James and Suzie, share this common bond of service and stewardship,” Davis said before the game.

“The fact that we’re able to highlight the importance of this, that it comes from everyday folk who are in the position to do this work to inspire others, I think is incredible, and I’m so honored to have that opportunity.”

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Before Davis and the other honorary captains were recognized on the field, Amanda Gorman, who gained famed for the poem she recited at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, recited an original poem about them in recognition of their impact.

When Davis was 16, he was hit by a car traveling 45 mph when he was crossing a street and slammed into a telephone pole. Doctors thought he would never play sports again.

Following two months in a hospital and an additional four months of recovery, Davis switched his athletic focus from football to basketball.

Davis averaged 20.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 5.7 blocks per game in the 2000-01 season as a senior at Pittsburg High School in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. He was the first player to sign with the Aztecs during the 2001 spring signing period.

The 6-foot-7-inch forward-center was team captain as a senior in the 2005-06 season when San Diego State went 24-9 and won the Mountain West Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

Davis averaged 3.25 points and 1.71 rebounds in his 100 games with the Aztecs, including 14 starts.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)