Davis Follows Tar Heel Dreams

Inside Carolina
Posted May 26, 2011


Luke Davis is coming home. The 6-foot point guard from Raleigh, N.C. confirmed he is transferring from Gardner-Webb to North Carolina. Davis will be a walk-on and have three years of eligibility left after sitting out next season.

“It’s a dream come true for sure,” Davis said. “It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m about to play for Carolina. I just can’t even tell you how excited I am.”

Davis averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 assists in 30 starts as a freshman for the Running Bulldogs. He was also named to the Big South conference All-Freshman team.

Despite his success on the court, Davis said the school wasn’t a great fit off it and started considering a transfer late in the school year.

Growing up a UNC fan, Davis kept up with the Tar Heels but didn’t consider transferring to Chapel Hill until he received a text from his father before Carolina’s Elite Eight game against Kentucky.

“It just said, ‘Walk-on at UNC?’” Davis remembered. “I called him immediately and he said ‘I don’t know why you shouldn’t try to follow your dream of playing there.’”

By mid-April, Davis had his release from Gardner-Webb and was talking to his former high school coach Kevin Billerman about his aspirations to be a Tar Heel. Billerman, who knew UNC assistant coach Jerod Haase from Ryan Kelly’s recruitment, called Haase and gauged his interest.

When UNC said they were open to the idea, Davis ended his search and started filling out the paperwork. Davis said he never considered any other school but UNC and only sent his transfer release to Chapel Hill.

“Me and my best friend in kindergarten would dress up in UNC basketball uniforms and cut down the Fisher Price nets,” Davis said. “There was no question in my mind that’s where I wanted to go.”

Davis’s path to UNC was a long one. After his junior year at Broughton High he reclassified and transferred to Ravenscroft where he played his final two years with Duke forward Ryan Kelly. He will be 21 years old when he is eligible to play his sophomore season but said he’s no worse for the wear.

“I’m going to be super old by the time I get out,” Davis said with a laugh. “I just look at (the year off) as an opportunity to get better and learn the game and play against the best players in the nation every day in practice.”

With a loaded roster and several point guards already in the fold, the odds are against Davis having a big role on the court at UNC but he said that doesn’t bother him. As a tough point guard and a proven winner, he said he hopes to bring some of that to Chapel Hill.

“I’m going in to work as hard as I can possibly work and to be the best teammate I can possibly be,” Davis said. “I don’t have any expectations as far as what I’m going to do. I just know that I’m going to work as hard as I can and do anything to help the team in any way I can -- no matter what that means.”

Davis is living at home in Raleigh the summer but has been playing pick-up in Chapel Hill and working out at Ravenscroft. He said he plans to attend the second summer session and will play with the team more consistently then.

For now, Davis is still getting used to the idea of playing for the Heels. When asked what number he wants to wear next season, Davis was excited by the possibilities but stumped for an answer.

“That’s a great question,” Davis said. “I’ll have to go look up what’s available tonight.”


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