Legendary Basketball player, Walter Davis, an all-star at the University of North Carolina and in the NBA has passed away while visiting family in Charlotte, N.C. this morning. He died of natural causes.
David was a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and he was one of the best shooters in the team’s history.
He was also a two-time All-ACC honoree in 1976 and as a senior in 1977, when he led the Tar Heels to an ACC Tournament title and appearance in the NCAA championship game.
Davis won NBA rookie-of-the-Year honors with the Phoenix Suns in 1978. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and the Suns retired his No. 6.
His best friend Phil Ford only had good things to say about the legend.
“Walter and I knew each other for 50 years. We met when I was a senior in high school and I was coming up to Carolina as a recruit at football games. Walter, Tommy LaGarde, and Mitch Kupchak were my hosts, and we just became great friends. When we were in school together he and I were best friends. He was the best man at my wedding, and I was the best man at his.
“Throughout the last 50 years, we’ve remained in contact with each other and were best friends to each other. He loved me and I loved him. He was a great, great, great guy who happened to be a great basketball player. I’ve always said he could have been selected MVP in the 1975 ACC Tournament just as much as I was.
“I am going to miss him dearly. I’m happy I got to see him a couple of weeks ago in Chapel Hill, but this is very hard. I would like to believe he’s in a better place right now but I’m going to dearly miss my friend. I don’t know anybody that says bad things about Walt. I’m getting calls from people all around the country – John Lucas, Scott May, Quinn Buckner, David Thompson. Everybody thought the world about Walt, just like all of us Carolina players and fans did.
“I’m blessed we were teammates and friends, and I thank God I had him in my life all these years.”
Walter scored 1,863 points, grabbed 670 rebounds, and had 409 assists playing for head coach Dean Smith.