There are few people who have been involved with the National Basketball Association (NBA) as many years as Johnny Davis. Coach Davis has spent nearly four decades with the NBA as a Player, Front Office Executive, Assistant Coach, and Head Coach.
Future pros square off at Detroit’s “Basketball Mecca” St. Ceclia Church
A Detroit native, Johnny grew up in the famed inner-city Brewster-Douglass projects. He attended high school at Murray-Wright and was coached by the Legendary George “Baby” Duncan and Paul Dean. Earning his reputation as one of the finest guards in the Detroit area, Davis honed his skills at Detroit’s “Basketball Mecca” St. Ceclia Church. He squared off against a long list of future pros that included: George “Ice Man” Gervin, Danny Roundfield, James McElroy, Eric Money, Robert “Bubbles” Hawkins, Terry Duerod, Terry Tyler, John Long, Earl Cureton, Bob “Big Bird” Elliott, Tom LaGarde, Tony Robertson, and many others. After an All-City, All-State, and All-American high school career Davis was voted as one of the top 10 players of all times in the Detroit Public school league and was recruited by over 350 major basketball schools in the country.
Pan American Games and Intercontinental Cup Team win Gold Medals; Inducted into University of Dayton’s Hall of Fame
Electing to stay close to home, Davis chose the University of Dayton in Ohio where he led the Flyers in scoring for 3 consecutive years. In 1975, Davis was selected as a member of the Men’s Basketball Team in the Pan American Games and Intercontinental Cup Team, both of which won Gold Medals. Davis was inducted into the University of Dayton’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and was voted to the University’s All Century Team. Concluding his playing career at Dayton, Davis scored 1,562 points in just 3 years and ranks as 16th on the All-Time Scoring List.
Drafted by Portland Trailblazers; continues NBA career with Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, and Cleveland Cavaliers
After his junior year of college, Davis was drafted in the second round (22nd) of the 1976 NBA draft by the Portland Trailblazers where he played for Hall of Fame Coach, the late Jack Ramsey. He played 10 years in the NBA and was a key member of the 1977 World Championship Portland team. Additionally, he also played for the Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Davis concluded his playing career with 9,710 points scored, 3,368 assists, and 683 steals.
Retirement from NBA as a player; continues journey as Front Office Executive and Coach
Following his retirement as a player, Davis accepted a Front Office Executive position with the Atlanta Hawks as Director of Community Affairs. During his tenure, Davis worked directly for Stan Kasten, the President and General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Team and Atlanta Braves Baseball Team. Davis quickly ascended within the organization and was promoted to the position of Assistant to the President and named President of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation. During his appointment, Davis spearheaded a philanthropic initiative that raised $500,000 in support of Atlanta area homeless shelters.
After three years as a Front Office Executive, Davis returned to the hardwood as a coach. Davis began his coaching career as an Assistant for the Atlanta Hawks and has since worked for the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timber Wolves, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, and the Los Angeles Lakers. To date, Davis has worked for over one third (11) of the 30 NBA teams.
Additionally, Coach Davis has assisted many of the NBA’s most reputable and successful head coaches, including: Bob Weiss (Atlanta Hawks-Los Angeles Clippers), P.J. Carlesimo (Portland Trailblazers), John Calipari (New Jersey Nets), Glenn “Doc” Rivers (Orlando Magic), Dwane Casey (Minnesota Timber Wolves/Toronto Raptors), Rick Carlisle (Indiana Pacers), Marc Iavaroni (Memphis Grizzlies), Lionel Hollins (Memphis Grizzlies), and Mike D’Antoni (Los Angeles Lakers).
Coach Davis has also coached and mentored many noteworthy players. That expansive and impressive list that includes many All-Star and Hall of Fame players, such as: Dominique Wilkins, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Clyde Drexler, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill, Doc Rivers, Maurice Cheeks, Kobe Bryant, Buck Williams, Zach Randolph, Terry Porter, DeMar Derozen, Derrick Coleman, Jermaine O’ Neal, Mark Jackson, Patrick Ewing, Mike Miller, and many more…
When not involved in basketball, Davis enjoys traveling abroad, golfing, listening to music, and playing the piano. Davis earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public and Environmental Affairs from Georgia State University and a Master of Arts, from Union Institute and University where he studied Sports Psychology.