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The Wizards got their man.
With the 10th overall pick in Thursday Night’s draft, the Wizards selected Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis, a player who had been on Washington’s radar for months leading up to draft night. In Davis, the Wizards get a playmaker in the backcourt, capable of scoring at all three levels and with size to complement Bradley Beal.
Davis’ on-court rap sheet is well known. What he’s done off the court, though, might be even more intriguing and could offer better insight to what Washington is truly getting with their first-round pick. Here are five things you didn’t know about the newest Wizard:
He hails from a (somewhat) D.C. family
Davis might feel a strange sense of home when he laces up in Washington. That’s because his dad, Mark, is from Chesapeake, Virginia and played four years of college basketball at Old Dominion.
From there, Mark would go on to enjoy a 14-year professional career which would include a stint in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns. He would eventually win a Spanish Cup and be named Spanish All-Star Game MVP in 1989.
“My father has helped me pursue a basketball career ever since I could first walk and he put a ball in my hand,” Johnny said of his father.
He put up a career-high against the fifth overall pick
Wizards fans might’ve jumped in the air when they heard ESPN analyst Jay Bilas say of Davis, “he plays his best basketball when the lights are brightest.” Davis earned his reputation as a big-time player in part thanks to a tour-de-force against the Purdue Boilermakers this past season.
When the Badgers took on their Big Ten rivals this past January, Purdue was ranked No. 3 in the country behind the stellar play of guard Jaden Ivey, who would eventually get snagged fifth overall by Detroit in Thursday’s draft. Purdue was favored heavily in the contest.
Wisconsin was down 62-60 with four minutes remaining, but would score eight straight points, five of which came from Davis. The Badgers walked away with a 74-69 victory behind a career-high 37 points from the future Wizard.
He played QB in high school
Davis doesn’t limit his athletic talent to just one sport. He was one of the top college basketball prospects in the country this year, played quarterback for his high school football team, and is from a town called La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Davis threw for 1,054 yards and 11 touchdowns over his first six games during the 2019-20 season as the starting QB for La Crosse Central High School. He was a dual-threat, rushing the ball for 993 yards and 14 TDs during that span as well. You can watch his highlights, including some miraculous throws and a 60-some-yard scramble for the end zone, here. He earned Large Schools First Team All-State honors as a senior and even won the Dave Krieg award as the best senior QB in the state.
His trophy case is already stacked
It’s no secret why the Badgers wanted the hometown kid to play for their squad once he graduated high school. He won a D-2 state basketball title as a high school freshman, won Player of the Year honors for his hometown, won Wisconsin Mr. Basketball, and set the school’s record for points scored. It was a slam-dunk recruiting effort to get him to Madison.
He didn’t stop once he got to college, though. He kept mostly quiet as a freshman but exploded as a sophomore during the 2022 campaign. He was named First Team All-Big Ten, conference Player of the Year, consensus First Team All-American, won the Lute Olson Award as the best D-I player in the nation, and became the first Badger to win the Jerry West Award for the country’s best shooting guard.
Taco Bell LOVES Johnny Davis
You might’ve recognized Davis’ likeness once his name was read on draft night even if you’d never seen him play before. That’s because tens of millions of Americans likely saw the future Wizard in a Taco Bell commercial.
In the commercial, Davis hears his name on draft night but hears the classic Taco Bell chime, prompting him to ditch the festivities and get himself a toasted cheddar chalupa. Davis doesn’t have any lines but sure can take a bite out of some delicious Mexican food. The Taco Bell in Davis’ hometown even gave him a shoutout after he was drafted by Washington.
This isn’t the first connection between the NBA and Taco Bell. Defending two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic was drafted with the 41st pick in 2014 while a Taco Bell commercial aired on ESPN. That’s got to be a good omen for Davis, right?