By Macerio Clark
The Seattle Medium
Chris Davis, II has been playing basketball since he was a child and has been in love with the game ever since. Davis, a Seattle native known for his sharp shooting, would start playing basketball at parks and schools in the Central District before playing for Team Mocha, an AAU team, up until he was in high school. He then played basketball in Tacoma at Lakes High School.
Davis learned early on during his career that he had to bring his ‘A game’ every time he stepped on the basketball court. His most memorable moment was a game against one of his former coaches at Bellarmine High School. Davis wanted to come out of the contest with a win, but with that, he would have one of the best performances of his basketball career.
“They lost [Bellarmine] because of the things that I was doing,” said Davis. “I had 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists.”
Reflecting on the game Davis knew that was one of the moments where he would either “barbecue or mildew.” Barbecue or Mildew is not only a phrase, but it is a lifestyle that Davis lives by. From a young age, Davis’ father; Chris Davis, Sr. told him that he is either going to barbecue or mildew and his father’s words stuck with him thus far in life.
“My dad always told me either you’re going to barbecue or mildew.” Davis says. “Mildew is you just sitting there stinking it up not doing nothing… Barbecue is you know, working on it, getting ready for when that opportunity comes.”
Davis’ performance against Bellarmine landed the attention of some of the best basketball prep academies and high schools across the nation such as Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio and Thomasville located in Thomasville, North Carolina which made his decision tough on what the next chapter of his journey would consist of. Davis chose to attend school at Thomasville instead of Spire due to Spire being farther from home, as well as his family ties in North Carolina where Thomasville is located.
During his time at Thomasville, Davis’ development led him to Fort Valley State, a Division II program in Georgia. Davis played at Fort Valley for two seasons before returning to his hometown Seattle, Washington as he continued to chase his dream of playing professional basketball. Davis then went to Central Washington University where he was a full-time student, where he graduated in June of 2018.
Still in pursuit of his dream of playing professional basketball, Davis recently tried out for the Cibapac League in Mexico and had been called back to try out for a higher basketball league also in Mexico called Chihuahua Vive league. However, the showcase was cancelled which opened up a door for Davis close to home. In September, Davis saw a posting of a tryout with the Tacoma Kings, a first-year team in the American Basketball Association (ABA). Two weeks later Davis got the call from the organization that he had made the team and would be signing his first professional contract.
“I felt like I wanted to cry, it was pure joy,” said Davis. “I’ve been on a crazy journey, I’ve been so close and the showcase in Mexico to fall through the way it did and to think it was another setback then this to come out nowhere, it was an opportunity.”
The Tacoma Kings will play their inaugural season in the ABA as the sixth team in the league’s Pacific Northwest division. First year Tacoma Kings coach Mike Marshall says he could not pass up on Davis after seeing his jump shot and the leadership that he can bring to the team.
“I wanted Chris on the Team because I felt he could definitely be an important piece to our team and direction,” said Marshall. “I wanted high character guys who were willing to become better men not just basketball players and I felt Chris displayed those characteristics that we as an organization was looking for.”
During his basketball career, Davis has always had to practice by himself. Although he has gotten accustom to training alone, he knows that if he had someone along side him it would help his shooting rhythm. A partner would allow him to maximize the volume of his drills.
“You know being in the gym by myself is the hardest thing for me,” says Davis, who went to parks by himself where he would work on perfecting his craft and learn to persevere through working out by his self.
Although basketball is Davis’s first love, Davis has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology. If he reaches his NBA dream and retires from basketball, he plans to use his college education to help guide future youth.
“I want to be a counselor for a high school because it can not just help people with athletics but through real life situations,” says Davis who lost his grandmother, who was his heart and soul, while attending Thomasville.
According to Davis, his grandmother would pray and encourage him before every game and her loss affected his life in a big way. Knowing the affect that a heartbreaking event can have on someone, Davis says he strives to be the positive influence someone may need. Losing his grandmother was something that set him back, but he continued to flourish and keep his foot on the gas just as his grandmother would encourage him to do.
Following his grandmother’s advice, Davis has never let anyone tell him that he cannot do anything as he continues to “barbecue”. He has taken advantage of every opportunity that has presented itself thus far, as he has signed his first professional contract. Everyday he is taking the steps closer to accomplishing his dream of playing in the NBA. By staying focused and working on his craft, he will remain on the path to excellence.