Community Ambassador Walter Davis

Walter Pearl Davis (born September 9, 1954 in Pineville, North Carolina) is a former professional basketball player. A 6'6" forward/guard, Davis spent 15 years in the National Basketball Association, spending the bulk of those years with the Phoenix Suns. As a standout college player at the University of North Carolina, he was selected to play on the USA men's basketball team coached by UNC's Dean Smith that won the gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

The Suns selected Davis with the fifth pick of the 1977 NBA Draft. He made an immediate impact, playing in 81 games and averaging 24.2 points per game in his first season. He won the 1978 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and earned second team All-NBA honors. Over his first ten seasons, Davis averaged over 20 PPG six times, and earned trips to six NBA All-Star Games.

Over his career, Davis averaged 18.9 points, 3.8 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. Davis was affectionately known as "The Greyhound" for his speedy style and sleek physical appearance. Suns broadcaster Al McCoy created many alternate nicknames for him, including "Sweet D," "The Candyman," and "The Man with the Velvet Touch." Davis is the Suns' all time leading scorer with 15,666 points and is commonly understood as the best pure shooter in the history of the franchise.

At age 33, he signed a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets. He ended up playing for two years beyond this contract, and was included in a 3-team trade in early 1991 that sent him to the Portland Trail Blazers for half a season. In the summer of 1991, he returned to Denver to close out his playing career.

Davis later broadcasted for the Nuggets, and has served as a scout for the Washington Wizards. In 1994, his number 6 was retired by the Suns, and in 2004 he was enshrined in the team's Ring of Honor.

His nephew Hubert Davis also played basketball for UNC and in the NBA.


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