Iowa Basketball’s Last First Round Draft Pick [GALLERY]
Iowa's Keegan Murray is playing himself into quite the potential payday. Murray is a consensus top 15 NBA Draft pick and some have him cracking the top ten. If that happens, he'd be the first Hawkeye drafted in the top 10 since Ronnie Lester went tenth overall in the 1980 NBA Draft. But how many Iowa fans remember the last Hawkeye to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft?
Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp were both second-round choices. So were Aaron White and Devyn Marble. Most Iowa fans would probably guess B.J. Armstrong or Roy Marble. Both were indeed drafted in the first round of the 1989 NBA Draft. Acie Earl went 19th overall in 1993. But the last Iowa player who was drafted in the first round was a one-year wonder at Iowa. We're talking about Ricky Davis. Davis was a four-year starter at Davenport North High School and committed to Tom Davis and Iowa after his sophomore year. So Iowa fans couldn't wait to see the high flying forward lead Iowa to the promised land.
But Davis' time at Iowa was just one season, 1997-1998. His stats that year were far from the top tier. Davis averaged 15 points and nearly 5 rebounds per game. He shot just 46% from the field and only 30% from the three-point stripe. But Davis was determined to play in the NBA. All he needed was a team to show interest. That team was the Charlotte Hornets. They drafted Ricky Davis 21st overall in the 1998 NBA Draft.
NBA Draft Pick Ricky Davis
Davis played for many NBA teams during his time in the league. You might call him a journeyman. He was also a high flyer, known for his amazing dunks and athletic ability, things we were only teased with during his one year at Iowa. Davis suited up for the Hornets, Heat, Cavs, Celtics, Timberwolves, the Heat again, and the Clippers. His career average in the NBA is 13.5 points. But Davis also got a reputation. One of being a bit immature and selfish. The one example that people point to is the night he tried to miss a shot at his opponent's basket, so he could get the 1 rebound he needed for a triple-double.
These days, Ricky Davis has been playing with the BIG3 Basketball League, the 3 on 3 league founded by Ice Cube and featuring former All-Stars and Hall of Fame basketball players. Davis led the league in scoring in 2019. He also formed the Ricky Davis Legacy Foundation which aims at strengthening families and communities in need. Davis was active during the pandemic delivering food and school supplies to children.
He may have only spent one year at the University of Iowa, but Ricky Davis made his mark on the basketball world.