Former college basketball and NBA standout Walter Davis died Thursday, the University of North Carolina athletics department confirmed.
Davis was a North Carolina native and played for the Tar Heels. He was 69.
According to UNC athletics, Davis died of natural causes in Charlotte, where he visiting family.
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Walter Davis of the Denver Nuggets against the Phoenix Suns during a game in 1990 at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colo. (Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
After college, Davis was the No. 5 overall selection in the 1977 draft. He later earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
He spent 11 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, and his highly productive NBA career spanned 15 seasons.
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He played for the U.S. basketball team during the 1976 Olympics. Team USA earned a gold medal during those games in Montreal. The Tar Heels’ current head basketball coach, Hubert Davis, is Walter’s nephew.
Davis averaged 15.7 points and 5.6 rebounds during his prolific four-year career at UNC.
Former Phoenix Suns player Walter Davis is presented an award from the Phoenix Suns and the Black Chamber of Arizona in celebration of Black History Month during a game against the Golden State Warriors Feb. 10, 2016, at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
One of the most memorable moments of Davis’ career happened in 1974 when he made a buzzer-beating shot to force overtime in a game against the rival Duke Blue Devils. The Tar Heels ultimately defeated Duke in overtime.
“Absolutely heartbreaking news about the passing of #TheGreyhound, Walter Davis a Favorite @suns of All time!” Suns television broadcaster Kevin Ray wrote in a social media post. “God Speed to 1 of the most silky smooth players in basketball. @nba #Ring of Honor lost a legend.”
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Davis finished his NBA career averaging 18.9 points and three rebounds per game. He was also a six-time All-Star. In 1994, the Suns retired his No. 6 jersey.
Chantz Martin is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.