Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays the power forward and center positions. Davis was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft by New Orleans, is a five-time NBA All-Star, and has been named to two All-NBA First Teams. He also earned a gold medal playing with Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Davis played one season of college basketball for the University of Kentucky, when he was first team All-American and the Consensus National Player of the Year. He also won the USBWA National Freshman of the Year, NABC Defensive Player of the Year and the Pete Newell Big Man Award. Davis led the NCAA in blocks and set Southeastern Conference and NCAA Division I freshman single-season blocked shots records. Davis led Kentucky to a National Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament.
He left college for the NBA after one season and was drafted by New Orleans, then known as the New Orleans Hornets, and was selected that summer to play for the Team USA in the 2012 Olympics. After his rookie season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The next season, he became an All-Star for the first time and led the NBA in blocked shots per game. He has since become a four-time All-Star and the youngest player to score 59 or more points in an NBA game. In 2017, he was named the recipient of the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award after setting an All-Star Game scoring record of 52 points en route.
Anthony Davis High school career
Davis is from the South Side of Chicago and played high school basketball for Perspectives Charter School, where he had attended school since sixth grade. The team plays in a division of the Chicago Public High School League, known as the Blue Division, that is ignored by the media because of its lower level of competition. Perspectives is a charter school that operates as a math and science academy with high academic pedigree, but minimal athletic success. The school had no gymnasium and Davis’ middle school basketball teams practiced at a nearby church. In junior high school, he was known as “the little guy who would shoot threes from the corner”. He ended his freshman year at a height of 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m). By the beginning of his sophomore year, he had grown another 1 inch (2.5 cm), and he finished the year at 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m).
As an unheralded guard after his sophomore season, he worked out with his cousins on guard drills that their father (Davis’ uncle) had developed. Davis did not play in the spring/summer AAU circuit between 8th grade and his junior year. He began his junior year at a height of 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) and his junior basketball season at 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m), saying he felt fortunate to have had such a rapid growth spurt without any knee pains. During his junior year, his family considered having him transfer to one of Chicago’s basketball powerhouses, but Hyde Park Career Academy head coach Donnie Kirksey, who knew Davis, Sr. well, advised against it saying “If you’re good enough, they’ll find you wherever you are.” Perspectives finished the season 8–15. Although he remained unnoticed nationally and locally after three seasons of Chicago Public League play, he was soon thereafter rated as the #1 player in the class of 2011 by Scout.com[ and in the ESPNU 100. Rivals.com rated him the #2 player behind Austin Rivers. The attention came when he started playing on Tai Streets’ Meanstreets (AAU team) traveling system in the spring of his junior year. As late as Spring 2010 he was still unknown, but began to be noticed in mid April. In late April, Syracuse offered him a scholarship. That spring NBA Top 100 Camp Director Dave Telep, invited him to the camp based on his dominant first half performance of the first game of the Fort Wayne, Indiana Spiece Fieldhouse event. That summer his talent was attention-grabbing. In August 2010, Davis played in the Nike Global Challenge in Hillsboro, Oregon. In the opening game, he had 23 points and 9 rebounds.
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