WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (PIX11) — White Plains native R.J. Davis has accomplished a lot this year. The North Carolina junior led his team to the NCAA Championship game, and he had his Tar Heels jersey framed on the wall of Division I alums at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains.
Davis’ latest feat might be his most impactful. The star point guard returned to his old stomping grounds to host a two-day basketball camp for boys and girls in the fourth through eighth grade.
“It feels great just to have kids come to my first annual camp and to do it at my old high school. No better place to do it,” Davis told PIX11 News. “Just to see the smiles on kids’ faces and come back to the community and give back to them is something I always dreamed of.”
Given Davis’ reputation in Westchester, it’s not a surprise that his first-ever skills camp sold out. Davis was a McDonald’s All-American, 2019-20 Gatorade New York Boys Basketball Player of the Year and finished as Westchester County’s all-time leading scorer at 2,446 career points. Knowing this, many of the campers treated him like a rock star.
Davis did everything from signing autographs in between basketball lessons to doing TikTok videos. Ultimately, Davis’ main goal for starting this camp was to serve as a role model and remind kids they can dream without limitations on and off the court.
“I was once in their shoes and wanted a role model to look up to,” Davis explained. “I’m learning to be a mentor and learning to be a role model. Hopefully when they look back and say RJ I went to your first camp, they said I learned so much about ball handling, shooting and how to be a good teammate. Not just the basketball piece but learning how to be a good human being.”
All those lessons that Davis is hoping to instill in the next generation are what’s allowed him to reach college basketball’s biggest stage.
Davis’ stock rose a lot after last year’s incredible sophomore season. His averages of 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists helped the Tar Heels make the NCAA Tournament. Davis then elevated his game during March Madness by scoring a career-high 30 points against defending champion Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Despite falling short in the finals to Kansas, Davis looks back at last season with fond memories.
“The year we had, how we started and how we finished is not a better year I could have had,” Davis said. “It’s all about progressing every year. We made it all the way to the national championship and came short. I think that motivated us to get back to it because we know what it takes to get there.”
Davis announced during the summer he’s coming back to UNC for his junior season with hopes of winning a national title.