Denton: Davis Lightest Since Eighth Grade

   

To lighten the load on a left foot that needed a surgery last February and then a second procedure in July to insert more stabilizing hardware, Davis tried a variety of methods to slim down. He considered veganism, but that didn’t last too long. And he ventured into the realm of ``hot yoga,’’ a series of classes where he would do stretching exercises in a facility where temperatures reach as high as 110 degrees.

Davis, who is three weeks from his 28th birthday, was miserable missing the final three months of last season and then having to sit out summer workouts, training camp and the first four weeks of this season while his foot fully healed. The hardest part, he said rather bluntly, was ``that I didn’t eat.’’ He stressed that was exceptionally hard for him, especially during the times when he had to sit around and stay off his healing foot.

``Mentally, I just tried to put myself in (game) situations. I just had to make sure that while I was out that I didn’t eat. I had to always eat the right things,’’ Davis said. ``Being out (10) months, it was a strain on me mentally, and I just thank God because mentally I would have broken down. Throughout the year there were times that I broke down and was frustrated. I just thank God for letting put my frustrations out here on the court again.’’

Raised in north Baton Rouge, La., Davis grew up loving spicy food and fried dishes. Among his favorite meals were the smothered pork chops, green beans and spicy potato salad made by Wanda Johnson, a friend of his mother. And when he moved in with mentor Collis Temple, the first black man to ever play basketball at LSU, Davis would mow down boxes of coffee cakes at a time. When the Temples would hear a noises coming from the kitchen at 3 a.m., they knew it was likely Davis – who admitted he never knew what a pantry was while living with his mother, Tonya Davis, who has had substance abuse problems through the years.

``He ate like an Army,’’ Collis Temple once told the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Because he couldn’t fly after his surgeries in February and July and was ordered to stay off his feet, Davis didn’t go back to Louisiana over the summer. That, he said, also played a major role in helping him keep his weight down.

``I had to stay away from home. The best thing was for me to have my foot being broken because then I had to watch my weight, watch what I ate and stay put. I couldn’t move (out of Orlando),’’ he said. ``My fiancé was the best; she made sure that I ate well and made sure that I was taken care of. And when I started working out again, she made sure I was still eating the right things. She’s the reason why I look a little more in shape now.’’

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