Walter Davis, Former Phoenix Suns Star and UNC Legend, Dies at 69

Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images
Manny Millan/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Walter Davis, a five-time NBA All-Star whose jersey was retired by the Phoenix Suns after 16 seasons in the league, died on Thursday morning of natural causes. He was 69. His death was announced in a release by the University of North Carolina, where he rose to prominence as one of the greatest sharpshooters in Tar Heels history. His most famous shot came as a freshman in 1974, when he sank a 25-foot long jumper at the buzzer against Duke, completing an unbelievable eight-point comeback in 17 seconds and sending the game into overtime. North Carolina went on to win in overtime. “It is one of the most iconic moments in college basketball and, even as a freshman, cemented his place in Carolina Basketball history,” the university said. Davis was drafted fifth overall by the Suns in 1977, earning Rookie of the Year and going on to spend 11 seasons with the team. Phoenix retired his No. 6 in 1994. A decade later, Davis was placed in the team’s Ring of Honor.

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