SOUTH CHARLESTON — Josiah Davis said slams and jams are fun, but he’ll need more than that to contribute at West Virginia University next season.
Davis, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard from Teays Valley Christian School by way of Ontario, Canada, entertained the crowd with multiple spectacular dunks on June 10 at the West Virginia North-South all-star basketball game.
That works in high school ball, but in the Big 12, he’ll need more of an all-around game.
“Everything,” Davis said after being asked what he need to become better at before college. “There’s always room for improvement. Shots off the dribble in the mid-range area. Nowadays, you’ll run into guys who are 7-foot, 6-foot-11.”
Davis said he isn’t sure when he’ll head to campus this summer, but that he definitely will. Until then, he’ll work hard to be a more complete player.
“I’m working with my trainers back home to get quick shots up, smart shots and go from there,” Davis said.
Davis scored 25 points and grabbed three rebounds to be named most valuable player of the South after leading the Cardinals to a 126-122 victory over the North. Davis made 11 of 22 shots.
He said he thoroughly enjoyed the game at the South Charleston Community Center.
“Being able to come out here and play with a bunch of great athletes throughout the state, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” Davis said. “That’s something you don’t take for granted, and I’ll forever be thankful for this experience.”
The team practiced together once before the game, yet at times appeared like a cohesive unit well beyond their collective experience.
“Being able to jell together in such a fast amount of time,” Davis said of the key to winning. “In timeouts, there was no arguing. It was being able to take constructive criticism. We all took it as one and that’s the best part of a team — being able to take constructive criticism and move forward with whatever it is that you heard.”
Davis said he especially enjoyed playing on the same team with Cabell Midland star Chandler Schmidt, who signed with Navy.
“Oh, of course,” Davis said of Schmidt, who scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the game. “He holds me to a higher standard. We have that type of bond that no matter where we are and no matter where we’re playing, we hold each other to a higher standard, knowing next year will be 10 times harder.”
Davis said he is thankful for his talent and the ability to display it in earning a college education.
“I give all glory to God,” Davis said. “Without him, none of this is possible. I thank my parents and all the people at Teays Valley who have looked after me the last three years.”