Walter Davis, a five-time NBA All-Star who had his number retired by the Phoenix Suns, has died. He was 69.
Davis was star in college for the North Carolina Tar Heels where he played for the late Dean Smith. The Tar Heels’ men’s basketball program, where Davis’ nephew Hubert Davis is now head coach, announced Walter Davis’ death Thursday.
The school’s release said Walter Davis died Thursday morning of natural causes while visiting family in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Walter Davis was drafted fifth overall by Phoenix in 1977 and became the NBA rookie of the year after averaging 24.2 points a game. He played 11 of his 16 pro seasons with the Suns, who retired his No. 6.
Davis moved to Denver for three seasons and Portland for one before returning to the Nuggets in 1992-1993 for his final year.
In college, Davis was practically unstoppable as he led one of the top programs in the game. He helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA title game in 1977, where they lost to Marquette.
He is 10th all-time in scoring in Tar Heels’ history. His 106 games with double-figure scoring are fourth all-time at North Carolina, trailing only Phil Ford, Sam Perkins and Tyler Hansbrough.
Walter Davis, from Pineville, North Carolina, is part of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. He was named to the ACC’s 50th anniversary team in 2002.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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