Former NBA Player, Dwight Davis
Meet Mr. Dwight Davis, a former NBA Player who has demonstrated throughout his life that giving, not getting, should be one’s chief aim. Like many African-Americans growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, Dwight Davis’ story is filled with highs and lows. After being named The Best High School Athlete in the state of Texas and receiving scholarship offers from practically every college and university in the country, Dwight ultimately decided to stay close to home…around friends and family. He chose to attend the University of Houston where he excelled athletically and academically. Dwight says, “Education, not Athletics, was always a number one priority in the Davis household and the seed to always ‘thirst for knowledge’ was first sowed by my mother and father.”
During his senior year at the University of Houston, Dwight was selected as the overall 3rd pick of the 1972 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nicknamed “Double D”, Davis played for five successful seasons in the NBA with two teams: the Cleveland Cavaliers (1972–75) and Golden State Warriors (1975–77). After five years in the NBA, the 6 foot 8 inch forward suffered a career-ending injury and for the first time in life, his choices became uncertain.
He found himself becoming more of a recreational user of drugs and alcohol and over time, Dwight’s recreational use became a serious addiction surrounded by cloudy days and foggy nights of depression. “Success” which had become synonymous with the name Dwight Davis was no longer apparent and “Survival” became his mantra and lifestyle. (One of Dwight’s close friends was not as fortunate and died at age 41.) Dwight says, “When you lose a good friend to addiction, that really helps to put it into perspective.” Addiction is a lonely place to be and even with God’s grace and mercy…there are no guarantees that you will survive.
Looking back, Dwight says, “I did not allow myself to grieve properly for the game I loved so much, the game that was a blessing to my family and me. I put on a good ‘game face’ and tried to handle my career-ending injury on my own, but I was falling deeply into depression, an unhealthy lifestyle, a divorce…a free fall.”
Dwight is now on a successful road of recovery and has been clean and sober for almost five years. His message today is even stronger, especially for today’s youth, because he has lived what he preaches now and doesn’t want others to go down that lonely road. He continues to give back to the community, volunteering to work with kids and teens-at-risk as well as individuals with disabilities. Dwight now lives in New Hampshire and works in the field of real estate. His passion to always give back and help others remains a major part of his life. He is living proof of “If You Put God First – You Can Put Your Life Back Together.”
This is The Dwight Davis Story.
Tony L. Harris