Temple senior defender Djavon Dupree is excited to be back on the pitch after a lengthy layoff due to COVID-19. “I’m extremely grateful that not only do we get to play this Spring but that our team has been fantastic with following protocols and staying healthy so that we are able to compete,” Dupree told BGN.
The Owls have picked up two clean sheets in their seven matches to start the season. Discussing how the team can replicate that success down the stretch, Dupree said, “The key for this backline to continue getting shutouts is to stay focused from the first whistle to the last. Secondly communication, like any team sport or collective initiative it is important to have constant and clear communication so that everyone is on the same page.”
Dupree, a native of Philadelphia, seemed destined to spend her college years at Temple. “Both of my parents attended Temple, and my older brother did as well, so it is safe to say it is a family school,” she said. “During times like this (the pandemic), I am especially appreciative that I am close to home so that my family can come to see my games as well as the comfort I get just knowing I am close to my family and love ones.”
Her hometown has produced countless great athletes across all sports. “Philly has molded me as an athlete because we are tough,” Dupree said. “There are so many great athletes that are Philly breed and have succeeded because we have a “by any means necessary” attitude; we are zealous and mentally strong so that despite what obstacles get thrown our way, we are able to adapt.”
Philly’s also the home of some amazing musical artists. Djavon said, “If I had to pick favorites my top three would be: Meek Mill, Jazmine Sullivan, Lil Uzi.”
Now, Philadelphia is also the home of a new candle company: Dupree’s very own, EightSixteen Candles. She explained, “EightSixteen Candles started because of the pandemic. During the summer of 2020 I had expected to be starting an internship, however because of the pandemic, it was canceled. With this unexpected free time, and me, moving into my senior year I had a desire to do something.”
Shop EIGHTSIXTEEN Candles!
EIGHTSIXTEEN Candles are hand-poured, small-batch, coconut blend candles, made in Philadelphia and curated to perfection, with scents to match your every mood!
— eight sixteen candles (@8sixteencandles) October 20, 2020
Dupree continued, “After attending the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, the biggest thing I walked away with was the question of “who am I?” and “who do I want to be?”. My identity for so long has been centered around sports and being an athlete and I wanted to challenge myself to be more and in order to do that I had to do more, and then came the idea.”
She’s definitely enjoying her new venture early on. “The process has been really fun, it truly has become a family business and I am forever grateful that I have parents that were just as enthusiastic about the idea as I was and they have been with me every step of the way,” Djavon said. “I like to think of it as me finally putting what I’ve learned in school to the test. This is a learning experience and I cannot wait to see how the company and I develop.”
Has there been one candle that takes the top spot for Djavon so far? She answered, “Choosing a favorite scent is hard! I think it all depends on my mood and luckily I have a myriad of scents to match every mood, but I would say my top three, so far, are Cupid (Japanese cherry blossom scent), Jazz (Caribbean teakwood), and Day Off (eucalyptus spearmint).”
Djavon and Temple will be hoping for a celebratory mood on Sunday as they look to upset the #19 Memphis Tigers. Kickoff is set for noon and will be live on ESPN+. Moving through her final NCAA season, Dupree can now start to look back on her time as a Temple Owl. “Some of my favorite memories at Temple would definitely be my junior year trip to Florida for USF and UCF, despite the result of those games my teammates and I enjoyed each other’s company and made memories,” she said. “I would also have to say my first ever football tailgate my freshman year was memorable.”
With four matches left in the 2021 regular season, Djavon Dupree will hope to create some more special memories as she represents her hometown school.