Walter Davis, who played basketball for the University of North Carolina from 1973 to 1977, was a player of great talent on and off the court. He is also revered as a person of integrity. Walter Davis’ life story will help us explore the impact of his legacy on UNC basketball.

Who Was Walter Davis? What Did He Do at UNC

Walter Davis is 69 years old and leaves a legacy few others can match. Davis’ time as a UNC student under Dean Smith, a legend in the basketball world, was full of significant achievements and memorable memories. In 1973-1977, he coached an ACC Tournament Champion team that advanced to the NCAA Finals before losing to Virginia Commonwealth in overtime.

Davis’s best performance was during the NCAA championship game when he scored 20 points, despite Marquette winning. He showed exceptional skill and determination to score them all by himself. Davis’s efforts highlighted his remarkable work ethic and skills despite Marquette defeating North Carolina Tar Heels.

How did Davis’s iconic shot against Duke cement his legacy?

Walter Davis’ 25-foot buzzer beater against Duke, in 1974, is legendary in a rivalry rife with dramatic battles. Walter Davis made an impression at UNC, before being chosen 5th by the Phoenix Suns in their 1977 NBA Draft. He was a natural in the professional world, earning him Rookie of The Year and selection to six All-Star teams throughout his career. Davis’s performance was encapsulated in this moment, which reaffirmed his status as a UNC legend.

What role did Davis play in Team USA’s success?

Davis’s coach Dean Smith was confident in him beyond his collegiate career, and he chose him to be a member of the USA basketball squad in 1976. Davis’s participation at the Summer Olympics was crucial in helping the USA win the gold medal, highlighting his talents on an international level.

How did Davis’s college success translate to NBA Success

Walter Davis, who had made a name for himself at UNC was selected 5th in the NBA draft of 1977 by the Phoenix Suns. Walter Davis’ transition from college to professional basketball was smooth. He was named Rookie of the year and selected as an All-Star on six occasions throughout his career. In 1994, the Suns retired his jersey as a tribute to his contribution to the franchise.

What was the significance of Walter Davis’s relationship with his peers and coaches?

Walter Davis is not only remembered for his athletic ability, but also for the many connections he made throughout his life. His relationship with Phil Ford – another UNC legend – speaks volumes about Davis’ character. Ford’s statement highlights a bond beyond basketball. They were best men in each other’s marriages for over 50 years and have remained close.

As evidenced by the tributes from former teammates and coaches, his personality and conduct won him universal respect. Roy Williams, former UNC coach, remembered Davis, “one of the all-time greatest basketball players, and even a nicer person.” Williams reminisced, among other things, about the joy that Coach Smith and Coach Guthridge felt in coaching a player like Davis.

How does Walter Davis’ legacy live on in UNC basketball?

Walter Davis’ influence on UNC basketball is continued through family ties. His nephew Hubert Davis serves as head coach for the men’s team. This relationship ensures that Walter Davis’ legacy is more than just a memory, but an evolving and living part of the Tar Heel story.

How will Walter Davis be remembered and honored?

Walter Davis’s achievements are still vivid in the minds of the Carolina community. His contributions to basketball, from the historic shot he made against Duke to winning an Olympic gold medal are imprinted in our minds. Future generations will be inspired by his unflappable sportmanship, kindness and leadership.

Walter Davis was an extraordinary basketball player and human being. We don’t just remember his scores or statistics, but rather celebrate him. Walter was one of a sort – he wasn’t only an exceptional basketball player. His legacy will live on through the banners hanging in the rafters and all of America’s hearts that are proud to call him a friend. Walter Davis was truly one-of-a-kind! Walter Davis made friends wherever he went.


1. Walter Davis, a college basketball player.

Walter Davis was a UNC player who led them to the NCAA finals and won an ACC Tournament championship from 1973-1977.

2. What was Davis most famous moment while at UNC?

Davis’ buzzer-beater from 25 feet against Duke in 1974 was the game-tying shot that led to a Tar Heels overtime victory.

3. Walter Davis played in the Olympics.

Walter Davis won a gold at the 1976 Summer Olympics for the USA Basketball team.

4. What was Walter Davis’s NBA career?

Davis was NBA rookie of the year, a six-time All-Star and his jersey was retired by the Phoenix Suns, in 1994.

5. What is the relationship between Walter Davis and current UNC basketball players?

Walter Davis, uncle to Hubert Davis (current head coach of UNC’s men’s basketball), is a member of the Davis family.


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