SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A 79-year-old basketball player is getting ready to lace ‘em up again, heading to a semi-pro tournament after word of his hoops prowess got around.
Tony ‘Bones’ Davis sweeps the floor at Kezar Pavilion before pro-am games. He says he does it to prevent injuries to the young kids, but I think he does it because he just loves basketball.
“For me, it’s been my entire life, you know? I didn’t think I was going to live this long, haha, and play basketball.”
Davis’ half-sister nicknamed him ‘Bones’ because he was so skinny. He starred at Schlarman High School in Danville, Illinois before earning All-American honors at the University of Hawaii.
Drafted by the New York Knickerbockers in 1960, his pro career was short-lived “They already had two black ballplayers, you know, so … I don’t think they wanted three.”
But Davis has continued to play and hone his skills for decades. There is no doubt he’s in shape and he’s got game.
“I’m just beginning. I’ve been trying the hook shot from the middle of the floor, and every now and then it hits the bottom of the net.”
During our interview, he was draining those hook shots along with plenty of other shots.
He watches the game and knows more than all the players on the floor, but he offers little input to the adult players, saying he prefers working with youth. “I like to coach, like, teenagers, you know, because they listen to you. Whereas like here in the pro league, talking to an ‘old G’ like me, you know, ‘well you don’t know nothin’, man, you an old man’…”
After watching our KPIX 5 report on Davis, a traveling team from Hawaii invited Davis to play with them at a tournament in Cleveland later this month. The team sent him a plane ticket and Davis said he is on his way.
“I’ve been blessed, I knew I’ve been blessed.”
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