Flashback: Robert Davies


From an interview in 2014...

Question: Were athletics a big part of your youth?

Robert Davies: I was a university brat. My father was a professor at Northern Arizona University. My grandparents were involved in education. So we went to the Lumberjack football games every Saturday. And we went to the basketball games too.

I remember when I was five or six years old having all the basketball players over for Thanksgiving dinner. They couldn't go home because they had games coming up.

I recall when I was eight years old going into the locker room after the games and helping the trainers take the tape off of players' ankles. My father was the dean of the college that oversaw athletic training.

I wanted to be a football player but I was short and I thought I would be a kicker. So I followed the kicker at Northern Arizona around for a long time. He kicked a game winning field goal against Montana, a 63 yard field goal. Later he kicked a 65 yarder. I wanted to be like him. His name is Tom Jurich. He's the athletic director at Louisville now.

But I've always been a sports fanatic. My fondest memory of my grandfather is watching the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs in Riverfront Stadium in 1976. Johnny Bench hit a home run in the bottom of the 11th with Joe Morgan on base to win by a run. I'll always remember that.

I think athletics teaches discipline, a sense of ethics and fair play, and competition. And all of those things are part of every day life.

Question: Did you play sports?

Robert Davies: Yes. My first love was basketball. And up until the seventh grade I wasn't too bad. Then everyone else grew and I didn't. But I've always been a big fan of college basketball. I love college football too. But if I had to choose one sport it would be college basketball.

A lot of it goes back to my grandfather. He was a high school basketball coach. He did some coaching at Marietta College as well. My uncle was also a successful basketball coach. It's a sport that I just love and understand.

I started playing tennis in the fourth grade. And I really focused on that after it became apparent that I wasn't going to be tall enough to play basketball. I was the top ranked junior tennis player in northern Nevada.

I played a match for the state junior championship. I was in the 18 and under division and I played this guy from Las Vegas who beat me by two points in a tie-breaker. His name was Andre Agassi. To this day I think he cheated me. And I will claim that until my dying day. Of course I was 18 and I think he was 12 or 13.