Selma University legend reaches AHSAA Hall of Fame

Published 3:40 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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(From left) AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs, Hall of Fame Inductee Homer Davis Jr., AHSADCA Director Brandon Dean and AHSADCA President Richie Busby

By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

Homer Davis Jr. had the tough task of following a Hall of Fame basketball coach at R.C. Hatch High School.But Davis ended up paving his own way in Bobcats history, earning a spot  2023 AHSAA Hall of Fame Class on Monday night in Montgomery. Born in Columbus, Georgia, Davis attended Spencer High School, later transferred to Central High School,  and ended up graduating in Phenix City. As a college freshman, Davis attended Selma University and played basketball, averaging 20 points a game in the season .Davis said his first season with Selma University, he learned the definition of hard work.

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“I played for Coach John “Skin” Lewis at Selma University,” Davis said. “As a freshman coming out of high school, he took me in as a son and showed me what hard work was like. I used to go over to his house and his wife Bernice Lewis and his sons were there. He just took me in and I would go over and eat. He taught me a whole lot about life.”

Davis played under Coach Lewis for two years before going to Alabama A&M. He returned to Selma University and coach with Lewis for one year. Davis stayed at Selma University for 15 years. In 1996, Davis moved to Perry County, becoming the assistant coach for girl’s varsity basketball under Hall of Fame coach Eugene Mason at R.C Hatch. As an assistant coach, Hatch reached the state tournament twice. They won the 3A state tournament in 2000 with a 30-0 record. Davis helped coach five All-Tournament players that year including MVP Tracy Williams.

When Mason retired, Davis became the boys’ head coach. Davis said his time at Hatch with the boys was a ride he will always remember.

“In order to be able to compete on that level the kids have to work year-round and they understood that,” Davis said. “Because Hatch had a tradition of winning. We were no exception in winning a championship every year. If you lose, it was like you failed. The kids knew that and the coaches knew that and basically, the whole city knew. Because if you didn’t go to the state tournament then there is nothing left to do. They want something to do.”

The community around R.C Hatch supported the basketball program because basketball was the center point of the R.C Hatch athletic program according to Davis.

“Basketball was what they really loved,” Davis said. “That’s a basketball school.”

Davis and the Bobcats won three state titles during his time as coach (2006,2007,2008), finishing runner-ups in 2009 and 2010.  The Bobcats won seven Area and five Regional titles under Davis. Davis finished his coaching career with 451 wins, including an R.C Hatch record of 268-87. Davis was named the Class 2A Coach of the Year two times. On Monday Davis was recognized for his achievements in the Hall of Fame, describing the emotions he felt before the award presentation.

“It was a blessing,” Davis said. “Everyone who was meant to be there was there and it was nice. It was the best banquet that I have ever been to… Tears were coming from my eyes. I still couldn’t believe it. How quickly time passed.”

With all the accolades that Davis earned, he still has a humble heart and a love for the kids he interacts with every day.

“There is not a more deserving and humble person than Coach Davis,” Perry County Superintendent Marcia A. Smiley said in an interview with AHSAA. “He has enough accolades and accomplishments to be boisterous and arrogant.

“However, he is just the opposite. Coach Davis lets his love and commitment to the sport speak for him, and for that, the Perry County Board of Education is eternally grateful to have had him in the presence of our students, staff, and community.”

Coach Davis lastly said that without his wife Bessie Davis none of this would have been possible.