CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Walter Davis, a former UNC basketball standout, NBA All-Star and Pineville native died Thursday morning, according to the official Tar Heels’ website.
Davis, 69, died of natural causes while visiting family in Charlotte, the university said.
The South Mecklenburg High grad led the Sabres to three state titles. At UNC, he was a two-time All-ACC honoree in 1976 and as a senior in 1977, when he led the Tar Heels to an ACC Tournament title and appearance in the NCAA championship game.
He finished his UNC career with 1,863 points, 670 rebounds and 409 assists playing for head coach Dean Smith.
This season is the 50th anniversary of Davis’ signature moment in Chapel Hill: a 25-foot shot at the buzzer against Duke that capped an eight-point comeback in the final 17 seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime, where the Tar Heels won.
He was inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
Davis won NBA Rookie of the Year with the Phoenix Suns in 1978. He was a five-time NBA All-Star, and the Suns retired his No. 6. The team offered condolences:
We are heartbroken by the passing of Suns legend Walter Davis, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and a member of our Ring of Honor. ‘Sweet D’ was one of the game’s best, a prolific scorer whose smooth playing style and ‘velvet touch’ endeared him to generations of our fans. He will forever be a member of our Phoenix Suns family and community. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends during this difficult time.Phoenix Suns