- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saginaw Arthur Hill coach Greg McMath knows talent.

After watching Eric Davis run up and down the court a couple of times as a seventh-grader at Saginaw’s Ruben Daniels Middle School, he recognized his potential.

And he was right.

That same kid was voted first-team All-State by The Associated Press and the Class A Player of the Year - as a junior.

“He can become one of the better players to come through (Saginaw). To get this award as a junior is huge,” McMath said. “You really don’t get too many juniors that win this award over Mr. Basketball candidates, so it’s just a tribute to him and his hard work and the success of the program.

“This is not just big for Arthur Hill but for the Saginaw community,” he added. “Basketball is big here in the city and our kids and parents take a lot of pride in it, so this is great.”

Davis, 16, is one of the top basketball players in the nation. He is listed as the country’s No. 8 shooting guard for the Class of 2015, according to Scout.com, and is 28th on ESPN’s Top 60 for national recruiting.

He already holds a dozen or more offers from major Division I programs, including Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa State, with another year of eligibility left. Davis averaged 27 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals this season.

“I’m proud of myself because this is a great accomplishment and I wish I could’ve got a state championship with it. But overall this is a good feeling and I’m blessed, but I can’t be satisfied,” Davis said. “I want to get it again next year. I want to get Mr. Basketball and win a state championship. I want to have goals and continue to get better every day. So, it’s a good accomplishment, but I’ve got to keep working to continue to fulfill my dreams.”

Detroit Pershing’s Justin Tillman, Akhemji Williams of Rochester Adams, Bloomfield Hills’ Yante Maten, Detroit U-D Jesuit sophomore Cassius Winston, Warren Mott’s Kenny Goins, Ypsilanti’s Jaylen Johnson, Cameron Morse of Flint Carman-Ainsworth, plus Muskegon teammates Deshaun Thrower and Deyonta Davis were the AP’s other first-team Class A All-Staters for the 2013-14 season.

Muskegon’s Keith Guy was voted Coach of the Year.

Eric Davis had the chance to take a few unofficial visits to Michigan and North Carolina State and during those trips he picked the brains of NBA guards Trey Burke and Lorenzo Brown, who both told him that thinking the game would take him to the next level. He took their advice to heart and it worked.

“The game slowed down for me, and I took my time and it became easy,” Davis said.

Davis hasn’t narrowed down his college choices yet but plans to go over things more seriously this summer.

Winning Player of the Year again already is his standard for next season, but Davis doesn’t feel any pressure. He just wants to become a better leader at all times and continue to leave an impact on the Saginaw basketball community.

“This is a good feeling to know that my name can always (be) thrown around with the all-time greats from Saginaw,” Davis said. “I know we’ve had a lot of great players from Saginaw that have done a lot of great things, so just to be a part of that group or even talked about is a beautiful feeling.”



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