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Heel Tough Blog: Walter Davis Passes Away at 69

Malcolm Emmons- USA Today Sports

The Tar Heel family lost a prestigious member on Thursday afternoon. As first announced by the program, former guard Walter Davis passed away due to natural causes while visiting family in Charlotte earlier this morning. The uncle of current Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis was just 69 years old.

Davis was one of the most iconic members of the 70s Tar Heel teams, averaging 15.7 points per game over his four seasons in Chapel Hill from 1973-1977. He is one of the best shooters to ever grace a Tar Heel uniform, shooting over 50% in each of his four seasons. He was a two time All-ACC member in his time on campus and as a senior, he was a big part of the reason the team got to the doorstep of a national title in 1977 when they fell in the final to Marquette.

His biggest contribution to the program, though, might be a shot that is one of the most iconic moments in the history of the Carolina-Duke rivalry. His 25-foot jumper at the buzzer to end regulation in the 1974 meeting with the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill capped a remarkable eight point comeback in 17 seconds and sent the game to overtime. The Tar Heels would win 96-92 and to this day his shot is shown every time the Carolina-Duke rivalry is renewed.

Following his extremely successful career in Chapel Hill, Davis was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the sixth overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft. He would spend eleven seasons in Phoenix before heading to Denver for four seasons and Portland for half a season to close his career. He finished his NBA career with 19,521 points and was named an NBA All-Star five times, all as a member of the Suns. His No. 6 currently hangs in the rafters of the Footprint Center as one of just ten players to be retired in Phoenix franchise history.

We here at the Heel Tough Blog would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends in this difficult time.

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