Minneapolis North chooses former NBA player Ricky Davis to replace Larry McKenzieA stint with the Timberwolves was among Davis' stops during a 12-year NBA career. Now he steps in for a legend.
By Kevin Bertels
Minneapolis Star Tribune
AUGUST 19, 2022 — 4:57PM
Ricky Davis, a Timberwolves player in 2005-06 and 2006-07, will be the next boys’ basketball coach at Minneapolis North.
The replacement for coach Larry McKenzie is in place at Minneapolis North.
Ricky Davis, who played in the NBA for 12 seasons and for the Timberwolves for large portions of two, will replace McKenzie as coach of the boys' basketball team, North director of basketball operations Trent Witz said Friday.
Witz said Davis has Amateur Athletic Union coaching experience with teams in Texas and has family ties to the Twin Cities.
Davis will take over the program that McKenzie led to two state championships as part of his Hall of Fame coaching career. McKenzie, 65, retired in late July after a 24-year head coaching career that included six state championships in stops at North, Minneapolis Henry and Holy Angels. He won state titles at North in 2016 and 2017.
McKenzie was inducted into the Minnesota High School Basketball Hall of Fame this year and retired with a career record of 481-166. He became the first boys' coach to win four basketball state titles in a row when he led Minneapolis Henry to championships from 2000 to 2003. He was the first coach to win multiple state titles at two different schools.
Witz said Davis is a welcome choice.
"I like the way they went out and got a splash name, and he has a chance to carry on some great traditions we have at North," he said. "I hope that he is able to continue that tradition that Coach McKenzie started. We'll be ready to bring him in and embrace him. The kids are the first thing in mind.
"I like the hire. It's different. I don't think anyone expected that name to pop up as a head coach candidate."
Davis, playing guard and small forward, averaged 13.5 points per game during his NBA career, which ended in 2010 and also included time at Chicago, Miami, Cleveland, Boston and with the Los Angeles Clippers. He played 36 games for the Timberwolves in the 2005-06 season, after he was part of a January 2006 trade that sent Wally Szczerbiak to Boston. That season Davis averaged 19.1 points per game for the Wolves. The next season he played 81 games for them and averaged 17 points. He was traded to Miami just before the 2007-08 season.
Davis, 42, was born in Las Vegas and played high school basketball in Davenport, Iowa. He played a single season of college basketball at Iowa before he was drafted 21st overall by Charlotte in 1998.
Witz, who was an assistant coach under McKenzie in addition to being director of basketball operations, said there's a challenge ahead for Davis: a schedule that includes games against prominent teams from South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.
"North has a tough schedule this year," Witz said. "If Coach McKenzie was coaching, this would be the most difficult schedule in our 10 years. That's what I left for him. Not on purpose. That's how you can tell Coach McKenzie's retirement was expected."
A stint with the Timberwolves was among Davis' stops during a 12-year NBA career. Now he steps in for a legend.