Tyree Davis using father’s NBA history to motivate him

When Ricky Davis played his last NBA game against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 9, 2010, his basketball legacy and how it would move forward were at a standstill. The Davenport, Iowa, native played 14 years in the NBA averaging 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. The former Iowa Hawkeye left his mark on the sport with a barrage of athletic dunks and great scoring volume.  

Like many other NBA players after their career is over, the Davis legacy can be added to through the likes of his son Tyree, a 6-foot 6 sophomore forward here at Detroit Mercy. 

Tyree, whose hometown is officially listed as Houston, Texas, saw much more than just the Lonestar state when he was growing up.  After moving around a lot, Davis started high school at national basketball powerhouse DeMatha Catholic in Washington D.C. DeMatha has produced great teams and players with the likes of an Oak Hill or a Montverde, including former Pistons leading scorer Jerami Grant and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. 

Under the leadership of longtime coach Mike Jones, DeMatha was able to win a national championship Davis’ freshman year but after suffering a broken leg and a torn patellar tendon his sophomore season along with Jones accepting an assistant job at Virginia Tech, it was time for Davis to explore new options. 

This process included a crucial call which Tyree described saying, “I was looking for a new home, so my dad was like come on down here to Houston, and after recovering I went down there and had a really big summer training with him.”

Davis ended up at Dawson High School in Texas where he found success as a junior which he “stacked into his senior year” elevating him to the number two scorer in Houston area. After spending his freshman year at Kilgore College, a JUCO in East Texas, the bouncy swingman found himself in Detroit. His father’s relationship with Detroit Mercy’s coach Mike Davis connected the two years ago through John Lucas, a prominent basketball trainer in Houston who also trained Titan legend Antoine Davis. When Tyree Davis hit the portal this past year the two were reconnected.

While looking back on his journey to Detroit Mercy, Davis acknowledged how much being around his dad showed him, saying, “You think you have an idea of how much work you have to put in, but when you get near someone who’s been in the NBA and they really show you how much work you have to put in, and what their lifestyle takes. It really made me change up my lifestyle, sometimes even working out three or four times a day, it was a real big change.”

This hard work seems to be paying off for Davis, appearing in every game for the Titans this year and starting three. He gives great energy and hustle on defense and the offensive glass showing his athleticism that is like his father's, especially in transition, highlighted by his rim rocking slam he had against rival Oakland in the first half. 

However, Division 1 basketball is an adjustment, one that Coach Mike Davis emphasized that Tyree is dealing with but noted that Tyree “gives great effort and is working hard when he’s on the floor.”

He isn’t the main focal point of the Titan program just yet, but Tyree understands firsthand what it takes to get to the next level, and with his added athleticism he has the chance to be a great player for the Titans.