State title long time coming for Davis
by Donell Maxie
Mar 23, 2014 | 2857 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anthony Davis, Sr. is a great high school basketball coach.

His transition from a player at Mississippi Valley State University to Shaw High head boys basketball coach was a smooth one.

After graduating from Valley, Davis took over in Shaw and in his first season as head man in the 1999-2000 season the Hawks finished 23-12 and lost in the quarterfinals of the State tournament in Jackson.

That trip to the Big House was a huge one for Davis and the Shaw community, but no one knew at the time it would also be the last for a while.

It took 14 years for the Hawks to make it back to Jackson, but this time they arrived with a stronger team, great assistants and a head coach that was prepared and ready to take home the gold ball with all of the knowledge he gathered over the years.

"I have learned so much over my 15 years as a coach here,” Davis said. “One of the simplest things is to not focus so much on what the officials call. No matter what they call you can’t make them change their call. The best thing you can do is continue to coach your guys and don't get rattled because once you get rattled it tends to get to your players. This season, I pulled from all my experiences and we put it together to bring home the championship.”

In a career with only two losing seasons and eight 20-win seasons, Davis will be the first to tell you that the talent in Shaw over the years has been in abundance.

This season, however, there was something different in the atmosphere with this team.

"This team was unique and it was a pleasure working with them,” Davis said. “I think the thing that made this team so different was that they actually got it.”

The Hawks got it on offense as a team averaging 13.4 assists a game, and they got it on defense averaging 14.3 steals per contest.

"These guys really bought in to the concept of team,” Davis said. “They share the basketball really well and they play great team defense. We really get after people and we are able to force a lot of turnovers which turn into points.”

With all his knowledge of basketball and his experiences, Davis also understands the importance of having quality assistants on staff.

In the case of the Hawks, it's Coach Melvendric Johnson and Coach DeKoshia Dorsey who provided Coach Davis with the necessary help during this season's title run.

"They have been real beneficial to us,” Davis said. “During game time situations head coaches get caught up in the game, but the assistants keep you grounded with things you don't see. Coach Johnson is real good with that and Coach Dorsey is a great motivator and is real good at getting the kids fired up. He (Dorsey) is also our strength coach.”

In addition to all the accomplishments the team experienced this season, Davis was also proud of having the chance to coach his son as a contributing member of the championship team.

"Having him here has been a real joy,” Davis said. “Coaching him and him winning it at a young age is only going to make him hungrier. He's already talking about going to camps and as we speak he's looking for camps himself to better his game. I treat all of them as my sons, but for him to be here with me is something special.”

With this season behind them, Davis and his staff is already focusing on next year and making plans for the returning players.

"Our focus is working our big guys because we are going to be strong at the guard position,” Davis said. “We will be coming in this summer and getting them ready to go and I think with that we will be right back in Jackson.”