Tom Davis Sets Sights On Nba

Posted: March 25, 1991

When Tom Davis was an all-South Jersey basketball star at Willingboro High four years ago, he definitely wanted to play Division I basketball.

But Davis did not want to go far from home, or risk getting lost in the shuffle of big-time college basketball.

So, he discussed the situation with his good friend, Paul Newman, and they decided to sign with the first school that recruited both of them.

That school was Delaware State. It turned out to be a good decision.

Davis, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound senior, has been nothing short of sensational throughout his career. Last month, he became the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's all-time leading scorer with 2,275 points. He averaged 24.7 points and 12.2 rebounds a game this season. He grabbed 1,013 rebounds in his career. The Hornets finished 19-11, advancing to the MEAC tournament finals before losing to Florida A&M.

"Quite naturally, I'm very pleased with my career," said Davis, a two- time all-MEAC forward. "I could have played basketball for a lot of major

college programs. But Delaware State has given me an opportunity to play some good basketball and receive a fine education."

Davis is very proud of his success on and off the court. This spring, he will graduate with a degree in marketing. He plans to pursue a business career in the private sector.

But Davis would like to explore the possibility of playing professional basketball. Jeff Jones, the Hornets' head coach, said Davis is good enough to play in the NBA.

"The pro scouts have been looking at him all season," Jones said. "He's been very impressive against both conference and nonconference teams. For example, he scored 47 points against Texas-El Paso and had an excellent game against Ohio State, scoring 29 points and grabbing 13 rebounds."

Jones, a former assistant coach at Wichita State, has seen great players. He ranks Davis with the best.

"I've been around some fantastic players," said Jones, naming Xavier McDaniel, Antoine Carr and Cliff Levingston. "But I'll tell you something. Tom is one of the most talented players I've ever coached."

Marty Blake, director of NBA scouting, believes Davis will have a chance to play in the NBA. But Blake doesn't see Davis being selected in the NBA draft in June.

"He'll probably come into camp as a free agent, which looks like the best thing for him," Blake said. "He's played very well at Delaware State. He's certainly one of the best players in the MEAC. He will certainly get a look by some NBA teams."

This summer, Davis plans to play in Philadelphia's Charles Baker League.

"I want to prepare myself for the NBA or possibly playing in Europe," Davis said. "The Baker League has a lot of good local players who are in the NBA like Pooh (Richardson) and Lionel (Simmons). If I don't play in the pros, it won't be the end of the world. I have a good education to fall back on. Plus, with the type of career I've had in college, I can't complain about a thing."

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