Off the Court: Anthony Davis

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

On one of the least-experienced rosters in the NBA, New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis is the squad’s youngest player. The 19-year-old was born in March 1993, roughly seven months after fellow first-round pick Austin Rivers. That pair of teenagers are among a group of five Hornets players who were born in the 1990s, including Xavier Henry, Darius Miller and Al-Farouq Aminu.

In addition to the obvious natural talent that helped make him the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis has impressed Hornets veterans with his willingness to listen and his work ethic, a trait Davis credits to his parents. The 6-foot-10, 220-pounder sat down recently with Hornets.com to discuss his background and some of his interests away from basketball:

People who had the most influence on his basketball career: “My uncle and my cousin. My uncle has a basketball gym, and where I went to grammar school was connected to the gym. I was in there all the time. He used to coach and still coaches. He taught me a lot of things. Also, my cousin played ball overseas. I always tried to follow his footsteps.”

People who had the most influence on his development off the court: “My parents. They weren’t (preoccupied) with how I did in basketball. They just wanted me to be a good person. They really influenced me to be a better person.”

Best moment as an athlete: “Gold medal at the top. Then winning a national championship ring and being the first player picked in the draft. Those are the top three so far.”

How he chose his current uniform number of 23: “I’ve had it since my freshman year of high school. I was a guard back then. I always wore 3, but wanted to wear 23 because of Michael Jordan, being from Chicago.”

Something fans might be surprised to know about him: “I like to draw, including things like cartoons.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The food here is awesome.”

Pregame ritual: “I have to dress the same way before I stretch and I have to listen to the same music. If I have a bad game, I will change it up, but otherwise I like to do the same things every game.”

Favorite athletes as a kid: “Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “I’d be a police officer or a basketball coach.”

Closest friends currently playing on other NBA teams: “The five guys who I played with at Kentucky and also got drafted this year (Darius Miller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb).”

Favorite type of music: “Hip-hop and R&B. I like Wale, Meek Mill, J. Cole, Lil Wayne.”

Favorite TV shows: “I love First Take on ESPN with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. I watch that all day.”

Favorite movies of all time: “Notorious, Friday, American Gangster.”

Favorite websites: “WorldStarHipHop.com and 23isback.com, a site that lets me know when all the new Jordan sneakers are going to come out.”

What he enjoys about his Twitter page: “Connecting with fans and seeing what people are up to. I like reading some of the funny things people say and laughing at some of it.”