PG | 6-foot-1 | Harrisburg, Pa. | Seton Hall University | #11
All-NBA First Team (4 straight years)
Originated behind-the-back dribble
1951 NBA Champion
The oldest and probably least well-known jersey hanging from the rafters of Sleep Train Arena is No. 11 — belonging to Bob Davies.
Playing for the Rochester Royals from 1948-55, he starred at a time when professional basketball was still relatively new.
Attending Seton Hall University, Davies originally entered school on a baseball scholarship and was even signed by the Boston Red Sox. After being convinced to play basketball, Davies began to excel and became known for his behind-the-back dribble—earning the nickname, “Harrisburg Houdini.”
Following college, Davies joined the military and fought in World War II. He arrived back in the U.S. and began to play basketball professionally. In 1946, he captured a national title with the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League. The following season, he earned MVP honors for the 1946-47 campaign. As if a pro basketball career wasn’t enough, Davies also coached his alma mater for a season in 1947.
During 1948-49, the Royals point guard led the BAA (Basketball Association of America) in total assists. The BAA merged with the NBL in 1949 to create the NBA, marking a stint in Davies’ career where he was selected to the All-NBA First Team four-straight seasons. During that span he also helped guide the Royals to the 1951 NBA Championship – a banner that also hangs proudly in the team’s home venue today.
After a short but successful career, Davies retired in 1955 at the age of 35. He continued his involvement with basketball by coaching Gettysburg College for two post-retirement years. His legacy was celebrated in 1971, as he was one of only ten players chosen for the NBA’s 25th Anniversary Team — a true hoops pioneer who played the game with flair.
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