You know Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis right now, but he wasn’t always so spectacular in size and skill. In fact, he was once no larger than your random friend Ralph, who really likes to enjoy the best science-fiction TV show ever; Stargate Universe. This is the Anthony Davis glow up special.
Davis’ journey wasn’t smooth. He faced challenges most prospects never worried about. For example, it seems like all NBA athletes get their growth spurts before high-school. I mean, even unathletic humans grow that early, usually.
We’ve all heard the story before. Your 6-foot-2 friend who played forward for your high-school team claims if he just grew one more foot, he woulda been a lottery pick. But Davis was different. Very different.
This is the story of how Anthony Davis transformed from a 5-foot-11 high-schooler to an NBA Superstar.
For what it’s worth, that friend is now a manager at the last remaining Gamestop, offering you $13.50 for your lightly used Xbox One.
Back to the Brow!
Growth spurts can only change so much. Except for Anthony Davis, it changed everything.
Davis was barely six feet tall when he was 14. He was known as the smaller kid on the team who would skulk in the corners of the court, putting up short distance threes when he found himself open.
Steve Kerr-ish, I guess.
The Anthony Davis Growth Spurt
That would all change when Davis started shooting up like a skyscraper. By 15, he was 6’2. By 17, 6’7. And by 19, he had reached his adult height of 6’10.
It took just five years for Davis to go from a scrawny guard to a devastatingly long forward. Most importantly, he managed to dodge the knee pain that usually plagues players who grow like this.
What makes this even weirder is the fact that the Brow’s parents are not exactly behemoths. Anthony Davis Sr. is not short, but he measures in at 6’3. His mother, Erainer Davis is where AD got his height, she’s 5’11. Their son would dwarf them both.
Developing as a guard (pre-growth spurt) was the key active ingredient in Davis’ unicorn formula.
If he were a legit big man growing up, his coach would have likely forced him to work exclusively in the paint, unable to craft his handle and jumper.
Funny how life works.
Height wouldn’t be the only obstacle Davis had to overcome.
He attended Perspectives Charter High School. A school not exactly known for their athletic achievements.
Illinois is a hot-bed for high school basketball talent. The state has produced stars like Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, and Isiah Thomas.
Anthony Davis stuck it out in Perspectives, betting on himself being good enough that the scouts would find him regardless of his school.
It wasn’t like Perspectives was just ok at basketball. They were bad. They had no gym. The team had to practice in a nearby church.
Perspectives finished 8-15 at the end of Davis’ junior year, but his bet paid off. Davis was ranked the number one prospect in the country by Scouts.com and made the list of the ESPN’s Top 100.
By the end of his senior year, his team was even worse. They finished at 6-19, even with Davis averaging 32 points, 22 rebounds and 7 blocks.
The Hype Train
The Davis hype train was in full effect though. He was recruited by Coach Cal and signed on to play at The University of Kentucky, where he would dominate and break the streak of draft flops for the blue blood school.
From 2010-2014, Davis is the only player from Kentucky drafted in the lottery who truly lived up to expectations.
Patrick Patterson, Brandon Knight, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nerlens Noel, and Julius Randle can’t say the same.
You can throw John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in there as well. Obviously, you can make a case that they did become excellent players. However, like the rest of their peers in that group, neither of them has lived up to the hype that the number one and number five pick come with, respectively.
When Davis was drafted first overall in 2012, he was the first Wildcat to truly evolve into a generational talent. Widely considered one of the best players in the world, The Brow immediately took the league by storm.
Perhaps the skinny kid who was forced to jack long jumpers for a no-name school can cement his legacy by going down in NBA history as one of the most versatile big men to play the game.