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Boys Athlete of the Week: Buford's A.J. Davis

POSTED: February 26, 2013 10:10 p.m.

The Buford basketball team is lucky to have a number of players that contribute each night, but A.J. Davis plays a major role every night in one way or another.

“He’s been a jack of all trades for us,” said coach Allen Whitehart. “He does whatever is needed. Sometimes it’s scoring; sometimes it’s rebounding, sometimes it’s just being a position player.”

Davis has been a constant force on the court for the Wolves all season, and as the Class AAA state playoffs continue, so does Davis’s intense play.

On Saturday against Gordon Central, Davis piled on 32 points to lead his team to a second-round win and in to the quarterfinals, where the Wolves will face Woodward Academy at 7 p.m. tonight in Buford.

For his efforts, Davis is The Times Boys Athlete of the Week.

“He was just in attack mode,” Whitehart said. “He was really looking to attack the basket every time on offense. It really showed late in the game.”

Davis and Whitehart both agree, however, that the team is so skilled that the scoring leader could be almost any different player on any given night.

“Saturday just happened to be A.J.’s night,” Whitehart said.

“We were all just kind of in the zone,” Davis said. “We just played basketball, but if they give me the ball in position to score, I’m going to score.”

Growing up in a basketball family, Davis began developing his skills at a young age, but it wasn’t until recently that he was able to apply all his dad, former NBA player Antonio Davis, had taught him.

“Me and my sister (Kaela) are nothing like my dad,” Davis said. “He definitely teaches us a lot, but I’m just now learning about what he does as a post because I’ve been a guard most of my life. I didn’t hit a growth spurt until later on.”

Davis said he learned his skills from a number of different people and watched the game to see how he could affect it in different ways. Now that his skills have combined with his size Davis is one of the most versatile players on the Wolves’ team.

“Realistically, he’s a big guard,” Whitehart said. “He’s got good guard skills. Isaiah (Williams) is definitely our lead guard, but A.J. helps him out.

“They’re both dominant basketball players, and they play off each other along with Kyle Doyle. The others play off of them and that makes it easy to play.”

In different situations, Davis can change his game quickly to adapt to his opposition, especially since he has been focusing more on defense as of late to help his team in that aspect as well.

“If there's a smaller defender I can post up,” Davis said. “If it’s a larger defender I can go to the basket. I love to pass the ball and see other people get involved. Sometimes I should shoot the ball more than I do though.

“For my defense, I really started to pay attention to that more and make that a bigger part of my game. When I was younger I didn’t really think of that as something important, but defense is a big part of the game.”

While his talents certainly show up on the stat sheet after every game, Davis also contributes another crucial skill to the team—a selfless attitude.

“That was the biggest growing hurdle we had as a team this year,” said Whitehart of his team’s ability to share success and defeat. “It was not a concept that was easily accepted, but now they don’t have a problem seeing another kid do well.”

Davis’s attitude is the biggest development he has made over the years, according to Whitehart, and it helps the team because they can look to him for leadership.

“I think the biggest life skill and talent that he’s developed is his maturity and patience,” Whitehart said. “That’s what I thought he lacked a few years ago. He has grown exponentially in those two areas.”

For tonight’s quarterfinal game, however, Davis only has one attitude.

“Just win,” he said. “If we just play defense and do what we’re told, I think our coach has us more prepared than any other team in the state.”


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