CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Walter Davis, an all-star on the College of North Carolina and within the NBA, a member of the US gold-medal successful Olympic basketball workforce in 1976 and uncle of UNC head coach Hubert Davis, handed away this morning of pure causes whereas visiting household in Charlotte, N.C.
Davis (69) was top-of-the-line shooters in Carolina basketball historical past. A member of the North Carolina Sports activities Corridor 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 Event title and look within the NCAA championship sport.
He scored 1,863 factors, grabbed 670 rebounds and had 409 assists enjoying for head coach Dean Smith.
This season is the fiftieth anniversary of Davis’s 25-foot shot on the buzzer in opposition to Duke that capped an eight-point comeback within the last 17 seconds of regulation to ship the sport to time beyond regulation, the place the Tar Heels gained. It is without doubt one of the most iconic moments in faculty basketball and, at the same time as a freshman, cemented his place in Carolina Basketball historical past.
Davis gained NBA Rookie-of-the-Yr honors with the Phoenix Suns in 1978. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and the Suns retired his No. 6.
“Walter and I knew one another for 50 years. We met after I was a senior in highschool and I used to be coming as much as Carolina as a recruit at soccer video games. Walter, Tommy LaGarde and Mitch Kupchak have been my hosts, and we simply grew to become nice associates. After we have been in class collectively he and I have been finest associates. He was the very best man at my marriage ceremony, and I used to be the very best man at his.
“All through the final 50 years, we have remained involved with one another and have been finest associates to one another. He cherished me and I cherished him. He was a terrific, nice, nice man that occurred to be a terrific basketball participant. I’ve at all times stated he may have been chosen MVP within the 1975 ACC Event simply as a lot as I used to be.
“I’m going to overlook him dearly. I am joyful I acquired to see him a few weeks in the past in Chapel Hill, however that is very exhausting. I want to consider he is in a greater place proper now however I’ll dearly miss my good friend. I do not know anyone that claims dangerous issues about Walt. I am getting calls from folks throughout the nation – John Lucas, Scott Might, Quinn Buckner, David Thompson. Everyone thought the world about Walt, similar to all of us Carolina gamers and followers did.
“I am blessed we have been teammates and associates, and I thank God I had him in my life all these years.”
Former UNC head coach Roy Williams:
“This can be a unhappy, unhappy day with the passing of Walter Davis, one among our all-time nice basketball gamers and a fair nicer particular person. Coach [Dean] Smith and Coach [Bill] Guthridge used to rave about how a lot enjoyable it was to teach Walter. I acquired to look at him as a fan and cherished attending to know him later. The massive shot to finish the ‘eight factors in 17 seconds’ sport in opposition to Duke will stick with us without end, as will many different unbelievable moments. Walter is a very nice Tar Heel.”
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