Profile of LifeLong Supporting Housing Case Manager Supervisor, Keyanna Davis-Trahan: A Winner On and Off the Court

By JR Valrey | Black New World Media


I grew up at the East Oakland Youth Development Center with Keyanna Trahan in the late 90’s, but back then she wasn’t a coach, she was the local Allen Iverson of point guards on the court; a little itty bitty thing that was unstoppable.

Fast forward 20 years later, Coach Keyanna Trahan is over four teams, in four different age groups. Her basketball program is called Firmly Rooted. Her teams were based at the EOYDC, but because of COVID, they now practice at the Tassafaranga Community Center. As an East Oakland community, we need to champion her ability to use basketball to teach focus, patience, teamwork, sportsmanship, and many other things to our inner-city youth, who may not have a lot of people guiding them into a positive direction. She is a shero that is not celebrated enough for the impact that she is making in the lives of the youth, and that is why I featured her to tell a tiny bit of her epic story. Check out Coach Trahan in her own words. 

JR Valrey: How long have you been playing basketball? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: Let’s see!! I started playing basketball when I was in the 1st grade ! So pretty much all my life! 

JR Valrey: How long have you been associated with the EOYDC? Why did you originally start coming? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: I’ve been associated with EOYDC since the age of 13 until present! As a child I used to pass by the EOYDC all the time, and say I’m going to be a part of that center! My Freshman year in high school, Kwame Nitoto the gym director back then, had a girls basketball team that he recruited me for, and I’ve been a part of the EOYDC ever since! 

JR Valrey: What inspired you to start coaching? When? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: I’ve always been a community person. My son started playing basketball at the age of 6, he was playing for an Aau organization. After his second year playing, my best friend and I decided to start our own team, which  at the time was run by all women coaching boys! 

JR Valrey: What is your team’s record this year? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: My 10u are 21-9, 13u, 27-10, 15u, 27-6, and 16u 29-5.  The coaches in the program are dedicated to instilling fundamentals, teamwork, perseverance, and leadership. With those four things in place, it helps us grow as a unit to win! 

JR Valrey: What role does sports play in the development of young people in the hood? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: Playing sport helps our youth learn to control their emotions, and channel negative feelings in a positive way. It also helps them  to develop patience, and understand that it can take a lot of practice to improve both their physical skills, along with what they do in school and life! It’s also an outlet, and provides experience traveling to different cities outside of their own neighborhood. 

JR Valrey: How has being a coach changed you? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: It’s bigger than basketball! It’s rewarding knowing that I have the opportunity to make a difference and see first-hand the impact on other peoples’ lives, and it’s a chance to give something back . 

JR Valrey: What do you want your team to get out of having you as their coach? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: I want them to develop many of the social skills they will need for life such as resilience, leadership, accountability, respect, and patience.

JR Valrey: You grew up in the EOYDC under the reign of Regina Jackson, what does her retirement mean to East Oakland? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: Those are going to be some hard shoes to fill. Regina is the true definition of an Oakland legend; she has provided so many opportunities for the inner city youth. 

JR Valrey: How do you feel about Selena, somebody we grew up with at the EOYDC, becoming the CEO? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: I’m excited for Selena! When Regina announced she would be retiring I was hoping for someone who grew up in the EOYDC, and in the inner city of Oakland, would fill her shoes! Selena is a great fit, and I look forward to seeing how she will take on the task to continue serving our community. 

JR Valrey: How do people keep up with you? 

Coach Keyanna Davis Trahan: I’m pretty much on all social media platforms. 

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