Winthrop “Wink” Davenport ’64

davenport

Wink Davenport excelled in basketball at Wesleyan and after graduation forged a career in national and international volleyball as a player and a referee.

He was a three- letterman in basketball and team captain in 1963-64. He left Wesleyan holding the records for points in a game (44) and for career scoring average (19.6). He was named first-team small college all-New England by UPI during his career. In addition to his basketball, he also lettered twice as a member of the Wesleyan golf team.

Wink’s volleyball activity began in the late ‘50’s at a YMCA in his hometown of Binghamton, N.Y. Following his graduation from Wesleyan, Wink would use his 6-5 frame effectively in volleyball after a move to California in 1966. He succeeded immediately, earning a spot on the USA Pan Am squad that won a gold medal in 1967. He played for the USA Olympic team in 1968 and the USA World Cup squad in 1969. He captained the U.S. national championship club team while earning All-America honors in 1971.

Knee trouble forced Wink to stop playing the game, so he proceeded to establish himself as a referee. Wink gained national certification in 1970. He officiated at the USA Cup, the World Junior Championships, the World Championships, the World Cup and the Olympics. Wink also took on officiating duties during six NCAA Division I women’s volleyball championships between 1982 and 1990 and 11 men’s NCAA Division I tournaments from 1980-90. He served as a Board member of the U.S. Volleyball Association from 1971-77, and as its vice president from 1973-76. He was secretary of the International Federation of Volleyball Officials from 1992-96 and was referee delegate to the Olympics held in Atlanta in 1996.

Two of his children attended college on volleyball scholarships while a third, Lindsay, was a star in the sport of tennis, winning three Grand Slam titles as well as a 1996 Olympic title.