Transferring from Madison Area Technical College after his sophomore year, senior Chris Davis decided to use his two years of eligibility left at UW-Whitewater to try to win a national championship.
After a tough loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season, Davis redeemed himself during the 2011-12 season and carried the Warhawks to the program’s third national title.
His performance earned him the Royal Purple’s Male Athlete of the Year.
“I feel very blessed and honored that they chose me out of all the possible candidates,” Davis said. “My expectations when I came to UW-Whitewater were to win a national championship, and I accomplished that.”
The ’Hawks defeated Cabrini College in an unlikely 18-point comeback in the national championship game, wrapping up Davis’ career as “a dream come true.”
Davis’ performance not only helped the ’Hawks win a national title, but almost every individual award given away. Davis earned the Final Four’s MVP and the National Player of the Year, something no UW-Whitewater basketball player had ever achieved before.
“It was a great privilege,” Davis said. “For me to have won, it feels amazing because there are so many Division-III schools and players they could have picked from and they actually picked me.”
Along with his national honors, Davis earned WIAC Player of the Year after averaging 22.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He shot 55 percent from the field and led the team in 3-point field goals (60) and free throw percentage (89 percent).
Even with all of his success, Davis admitted it wasn’t easy. Davis, who has a soon-to-be 5-year-old son, tries to balance a family life along with school and basketball.
“It can be tough at times because I live out here in Whitewater and he lives back in Madison with his mom,” Davis said. “On the court nothing really gets to me, I let all my worries aside and worry about the game at hand.”
Sometimes Davis can’t see him on weekends because of games, but Chris Jr. still goes to see his dad play.
“Chris came to most of the home games so having him there watching and cheering for me was a great feeling,” Davis said. “Some weekends when we had out-of-town games I couldn’t get him that weekend and that is hard on both of us.”
With a historic basketball career under his belt, Davis said he looks to finish his college education and will try out for football next season, using his last year of eligibility.
Although he has only spent two seasons playing basketball here, UW-Whitewater Athletic Director Paul Plinske said it’s one that will go down in the record books.
“I credit Chris for believing in us and trusting what we could do for him,” Plinske said. “He will go down as one UW-Whitewater’s top basketball players to walk on this campus.”