Nederland great to represent 1955-56 Warriors at ring ceremony
Published 4:27 pm Monday, October 26, 2015
Tune into the New Orleans Pelicans-Golden State Warriors season opener tonight, and you might catch a glimpse of a Nederland and Texas A&M legend.
Walt “Buddy” Davis will represent the 1955-56 NBA champion Philadelphia Warriors during a ring ceremony for the defending world champion Warriors tonight at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, his son Shaun confirmed Monday. The Davises learned of the plans for such on short notice — like Monday.
“Out of the blue, the PR guy called for me today,” said Shaun Davis, a Groves resident who will travel with his father to Oakland. “I asked, ‘Is this a prank call?’ He said, ‘No. I Googled your dad’s name.’”
The public relations person found Shaun’s contact through a recent local article about Buddy online, Shaun said.
“He said, ‘I know it’s short notice and I apologize, but would your dad be able to come by and be a part of the championship ceremony?’” Shaun continued. “Dad said, ‘There’s no way we can miss that.’ I said, ‘If you’re not going, I am.’ Anyway, he’s excited. We both are. It’s just a great surprise out of the blue.’”
Just for the occasion, the Warriors are upgrading the Davises to first class because of Buddy’s 6-foot-8 height, at his request. Shaun said his father, otherwise, had a problem sitting on the plane for so long.
Buddy Davis will stand on the game floor along with Rick Barry during the pregame ceremony, according to Shaun. Both are representing their Warriors championship teams that will be honored; Barry is the MVP of the 1975 NBA Finals. The franchise also won the first NBA title in 1947.
Buddy Davis was drafted in the second round by Philadelphia in 1952 but did not enter the league until the next year to remain eligible for the Helsinki Olympics, since only amateurs were eligible at the time. The two-time NCAA high jump champion for the Aggies also won gold in Helsinki in that event.
Buddy Davis played four-plus seasons with the Warriors and parts of the 1957-58 season with the St. Louis (now Atlanta) Hawks. For his career, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and shot 37.7 percent from the field.
Davis was recently selected for induction into the Texas Track & Field Hall of Fame, along with Port Arthur native Babe Didrikson Zaharias. That induction is scheduled for Jan. 8 in Addison.
The Pelicans and Warriors will tip off at approximately 9:30 p.m. on TNT.