HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 1, 2013 – Former guard A.J. Davis (Columbus, Ohio/Harmony Community School), who was instrumental in James Madison’s 2013 men’s basketball championship season, was selected in the third round (39th overall) by the Sioux Falls Skyforce in Friday night’s NBA D-League Draft.
“I’m blessed and humbled by the opportunity,” offered Davis moments after his selection. “All the hard work has paid off. It was a long time coming to wait for this day. I give a shout out to JMU fans for the support they gave me for two years, as well as the men’s basketball coaching staff and coach [Kenny] Brooks.”
The Skyforce are entering their first season as a single affiliation partner of the Miami Heat. While the Heat controls the basketball operations of the organization, any NBA team could sign Davis from the Sioux Falls roster. He reports to camp on Nov. 7.
Once placed on the roster, Davis will be the first JMU player on a D-League roster since Abdullai Jalloh played two years in 2009-10 and 2010-11. He averaged 12.3 points per game in his second season
“We’re thrilled for A.J. to be part of the D-League,” noted JMU head coach Matt Brady. “It’s a significant step in his dream to become a professional basketball player. When you’re a part of the NBA in the D-League, your dream of being in the NBA is a little closer. A.J. was hopeful of being on a D-League team, so we’re glad he got drafted and excited for him. We feel great about his opportunity.”
Davis elevated his performance in the final third of the 2012-13 season to help guide JMU to its first CAA Championship in 19 years. Beginning with 27 points in a home win over William and Mary, he averaged 20 points per game in the season’s final 12 games, including a career-best 36 points in a road win over the Tribe in early March.
In the CAA Championship, Davis poured in 20 points in the first round against William and Mary, added 16 points in a semifinal win over Delaware and capped the weekend with 26 points in the title bout vs. Northeastern to claim CAA Most Outstanding Player honors. He played an integral role in JMU picking up its first league title since 1994 in its first title-game appearance since 1997.
Davis went on to post 20 points in a NCAA First Four win over LIU Brooklyn, JMU’s first NCAA win in 30 years dating back to 1983. In addition to his CAA MVP honor, he was named Honorable Mention All-State by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Sixth Man of the Year in the CAA by CollegeHoopsDaily.com.
After a slow start, Davis overtook senior forward Rayshawn Goins (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) in the season’s final game to claim leading scorer honors. He finished 17th in the CAA for scoring (12.1 per game) along with seventh in field goal percentage (.481), 11th in steals (1.3 per game), fourth in three-point percentage (.372) and fifth in made three-pointers per game (2.0).
Davis finished with 937 points in two seasons at JMU after leading the Dukes as a junior with 510 points and adding 427 this year. He also had 305 points in two seasons at Wyoming to give him 1,242 for his four-year collegiate career.
Former JMU guard Darren White was a second-round pick in Friday night’s draft, selected 25th overall by the Erie BayHawks out of Campbell University.