Achieving Childhood Ambition of Pro Hoops, PDS Alum Reed Primed to Help NBA’s Suns
HERE COMES THE SUN: Davon Reed dribbles up the court during his career with the University of Miami men’s basketball team. Reed, a former Princeton Day School standout, was recently chosen in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns as the 32nd pick overall. Last Friday, he made his debut for the Suns, scoring 17 points as the Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 89-85 in their NBA Summer League opener. (Photo Courtesy of Miami’s Office of Athletic Communications)
As a youngster, Davon Reed knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up.
“When people ask you what you want to be, some people say like a doctor or a teacher or an airplane pilot, I always said that I want to play in the NBA,” said Reed, a former Princeton Day School hoops star who went on to enjoy a superb career for the University of Miami. “That is what I have been saying all of my life.”
On June 21, Reed took a major step to achieving that lifelong ambition as he was chosen 32nd by the Phoenix Suns early in second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Last Friday, Reed made his debut for Phoenix scoring 17 points as the Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 89-85 in their NBA Summer League opener in Las Vegas.
In reflecting on his road to the the NBA, Reed views his PDS experience as a key stop.
“The opportunity to go to PDS, the things I learned, and the connections I made really prepared me for college and a very successful college career,” said Reed, who is the only player in the school’s history with more than 2,000 points.
“I am very grateful for that, just the experiences and opportunities I had there. It was the best fit for me. I am very happy I decided to go to PDS.”
Reed found another good fit when he chose to go to Miami and play for legendary coach Jim Larranaga. The 6’6, 220-pound guard finished his four-year career with the Hurricanes ranked fourth in school history in games played (131), fifth in minutes played (3,679), seventh in three-pointers (202) and 16th in scoring (1,343). Reed helped the Hurricanes advance to the NIT finals as a sophomore and the NCAA Sweet 16 as a junior.
“Over four years, I got the chance to play against a lot of really good players, some great programs, and win a lot of games,” said Reed, who saved his best for last this past winter, earning All-ACC Third Team honors after averaging career-highs of 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.3 steals in 33 games.
“We had a lot of historic moments at Miami; I wouldn’t go back and do it any differently.”
Off the court, Reed enjoyed success as well, winning the ACC’s Skip Prosser Award in 2017, presented annually to the conference’s top scholar-athlete in men’s basketball.
“Just being able to become a man, going through four years and getting my degree,” said Reed, reflecting on his growth during his Miami career.
“Every summer, I added something new to my game and learned more and more each season with coach Larranaga and the staff.”
Over his four years at Miami, he added a lot to his trophy case, earning a number of honors and awards.
“I am very grateful, I wouldn’t say that one is more significant than the other,” said Reed.
“From the Skip Prosser award all the way to making the All-Tournament team in the NIT. I am blessed and thankful for every award; they were a celebration of success and maturity I had every year.”
As Reed turned his attention to the NBA draft, he had to utilize that maturity.
“It was very long, it was definitely a grind,” said Reed. “It started pretty much right after the season. I came home and chose an agent. I worked for a few days back in Miami and i went to Portsmouth and then I went from from Portsmouth to Las Vegas. I worked out in Vegas and from Vegas, I went to the combine and started working for teams.”
Going through the process, Reed believed he connected with Phoenix and the Indiana Pacers.
“I had an opportunity to have two workout for Phoenix and I had the opportunity to have two workouts with Indiana,” said Reed.
“After going back to both of those, I felt I had a good chance to either team. I knew in the second round, there were a lot of moving parts; there were a lot of different things that could come up.”
As the draft approached, Reed was confident that he was was going to be chosen.
“The night before the draft, my agent was pretty confident that I was going to be drafted,” said Reed.
“I had a good feeling but you can never be too sure. I was still anxious because until you hear your name called, you never know. Every pick before you affects you in a way.”
For Reed, learning that he was going to be the 32nd choice left him speechless.
“I knew right before at pick 31, my agent called me and said they are taking you,” said Reed.
“I didn’t really have any words. I told him ‘I am going to call you back, I am going to tell my mom and family to look at the TV.’”
Meeting with the Suns days after the draft, Reed got the feeling he had found a new family.
“It went really well,” said Reed. “The fans were nothing but welcoming and encouraging. I look forward to getting started and playing in the league.”
In Reed’s view, the Suns’ trio of draftees, which includes fourth overall choice Josh Jackson of Kansas and second round pick Alec Peters from Valparaiso University, have the potential to give the Phoenix fans a lot to cheer about.
“Josh is a very talented player. He is a young player so has a tremendous upside,” said Reed.
“I think we are really going to be able to add some good things to this team.”
In Reed’s view, he brings some very good things to the table for the Suns.
“I am still young, but I am mature,” said Reed, who will be spending extra time in the weight room this summer working on his legs and overall strength to get ready for the rigors of the NBA.
“My readiness to play early on in the league, the grittiness I bring, the toughness and my ability to stretch the floor with shooting, I think those are my initial duties. I am just ready to work, improve myself, and show that I can do a lot more.”