VUU’s Mike Davis: First Virginia player picked in NBA draft first round – Richmond Free Press - Techy Hunters


Friday, August 20, 2021

VUU’s Mike Davis: First Virginia player picked in NBA draft first round – Richmond Free Press

Virginia’s colleges and universities boast a rich history in producing NBA first round draft choices.

With that, the average hoops fan around the Commonwealth might not readily guess who was the first to be bestowed with that honor.

It all started, surprisingly, far from the brightest lights and media exposure, on April 7, 1969, with Virginia Union University’s Mike Davis.

Playing home games at Barco-Stevens Hall under venerable Coach Tom Harris, and with no television coverage, Davis grabbed the full attention of the NBA scouts.

With the 14th pick of the first round, the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets chose Davis, a 6-foot-3, 182-pound wing guard known as “The Crusher.”

Out of Eastern District High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y., Davis scored 2,758 career points at VUU and led the NCAA Division II in 1968 with a 36.3 point average.

The prolific scoring came despite no 3-point shot and no shot clock.

Davis averaged 31 points for his career, becoming a three-time All-CIAA pick, three- time All-CIAA All-Tournament selection and CIAA Player of the Year as a senior. He holds VUU’s single game mark of 62 points against Shaw University.

At the time, with Division I integration in its infancy, the CIAA ranked with the nation’s premier conferences, regardless of division.

In that same 1969 NBA draft, three Norfolk State players were selected—Charles Bonaparte (picked in the third round by San Diego), Bobby Dandridge (drafted in the fourth round by Milwaukee) and Rick “Pee Wee” Kirkland (13th by Chicago).

The overall No. 1 pick in 1969 was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from NCAA champion UCLA.

Davis didn’t disappoint. Playing in Baltimore with the likes of Earl Monroe, Wes Unseld, Fred Carter and Gus Johnson, Davis made the NBA All-Rookie Team, averaging 12 points. He went on to post career norms of 10.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists for a five-year career.

Since Davis’ first round selection in 1969, the University of Virginia has dominated the headlines on that subject.

This year, Trey Murphy III became the Cavaliers’ 13th round one selection. U.Va’s first No. 1 pick was Barry Parkhill in 1973. In 1983, Ralph Sampson was the first overall pick in round one.

Virginia Union is among the few Division II schools with more than one player drafted in the first round. In 1985, Charles Oakley was the ninth overall pick in the NBA draft.

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