Walter Davis, a six-time NBA All-star, has reportedly passed away from natural causes. He was 69 years old at the time of his death. Davis’ alma mater, The University of North Carolina announced the unfortunate news about the former professional basketball player.
Along with being a six-time NBA All-Star, Davis was a member of the U.S. gold-medal-winning basketball team in 1976. “Davis (69) was one of the best shooters in Carolina basketball history,” UNC declared. “A member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Pineville, N.C., native was a two-time All-ACC honoree in 1976 and as a senior in 1977, when he led the Tar Heels to an ACC Tournament title and appearance in the NCAA championship game.”
UNC also revealed that Walter Davis scored 1,863 points, grabbed 670 rebounds, and had 409 assists while playing for the university’s legendary coach Dean Smith. UNC further pointed out that the 2023-2024 season marks the 50th anniversary of Davis’ 25-foot shot at the buzz against Duke that pushed the team to have an eight-point comeback in the final 17 seconds of regulations. After going into overtime, the team won. “It is one of the most iconic moments in college basketball and, even as a freshman, cemented his place in Carolina Basketball history,” the university explained.
Following his time at UNC, Davis went on to become NBA Rookie-of-the-Year with the Phoenix Suns in 1978. He played 11 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns before going on to play for the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers. The Suns ended up retiring his No. 6.
Fellow Former Professional Basketball Player Phil Ford Releases Statement Following Walter Davis’ Death
Along with announcing Walter Davis’ death, UNC also shared a statement from fellow basketball alum and former NBA player Phil Ford.
In the statement, Ford recalled first meeting Davis when he was a senior in high school he was coming to to UNC as a recruit at football games. “Walter, Tommy LaGarde, and Mitch Kupchak were my hosts, and we just became great friends. When we were in school together he and I were best friends. He was the best man at my wedding, and I was the best man at his.”
Ford also shared that over the past 50 years, he and Davis remained in contact with one another and were best friends. “He loved me and I loved him,” Ford continued. “He was a great, great, guy that happened to be a great basketball player.”
Ford went on to add that he will miss Davis very much. “I would like to believe he’s in a better place right now but I’m going to dearly miss my friend. I don’t know anybody that says bad things about Walt.”
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