"He shows us that no matter where you came from, you can still make it, no matter how small your school is," said Perspectives guard James Jordan, of Bronzeville. "He's a great player, a good role model, and he gives back to the community."
In his third NBA season, the 21-year-old Davis is averaging 25.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game for the New Orleans Pelicans (10-11), who host LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers Friday at 7 p.m. The 6-foot-10-inch, 245-pound forward/center was featured on the cover of last week's Sports Illustrated, which profiled his rise from an unknown at Perspectives to one of the most highly coveted recruits in the nation.
"He means a lot to our program," said Perspectives senior center Kameron Williams, of South Shore. "Just to see where he came from, he showed that if you work hard enough, you can get what you want."
The Wolves (3-2), who play at Raby at 6:30 p.m. Friday, won the school's first IHSA regional title in any sport last season.
Wolves head coach Waybon McConnell Jr. said the players like reaching out to Davis on social media. He also noted that a practice or game doesn't end without one of the Wolves bringing up Davis' name.
"Guys don't always think they can achieve great things on the basketball court, but just hearing his story and seeing how he wasn't the best player coming in and how he got better, our guys use that mentality to get better," said McConnell, of Uptown and a Lincoln Park High School graduate.
Davis will return to Chicago again later this month for a Dec. 27 game against the Bulls at the United Center. McConnell is hoping some of the Wolves' ballers can attend the game or Davis can swing by his old stomping grounds.
"He gives our guys a lot of hope," McConnell said.
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