James Davis emerged as a high Division I prospect as a senior after not playing basketball as a junior. He drew looks from schools like Iowa, Purdue, Louisville and Minnesota, but was forced to attend a JC, due to grades. Davis helped lead Minneapolis North to Minnesota's Class AAAA state title along with former Garden City teammate Kevin Henderson. Henderson was dismissed from Garden City's team this summer and Davis also briefly left the program.
Are you glad to be back at Garden City?
"People make mistakes in their life. I feel like I made a mistake, so I went back and called Coach Swanson and asked him if he would accept me back on the team. I apologized to my teammates. I'm a captain and I feel like I let them down, so I apologized to them. They accepted me back and welcomed me with open arms. It feels good to be back."
Was there one thing at Southwest that made you realize that this was not the place for you? Was it being so far away from home?
"Coach Mack (Cleveland) and I have history together. He is one of the few people that I do trust to give me information about the game of basketball. Garden City, as a community and as a family, they've always been there for me. They never let me down. I feel that I owe them something just as well, because they helped me out. ‘You just have to figure things out.' That's what my mom always taught me. L.A. was far from home. That was all right. I just know that I need to be close to my mom, who has been ill. So I felt that I could go back there (to Garden City) and play."
What is the latest with your recruitment? Do you have any other visits set up yet?
"No. I don't have any set up yet. This one, I'm liking this a lot. I'm here with my friends. I know the whole team. Me and Brandon (Smith) are real tight. We are really cool."
I saw the quotes when Brandon committed. He said that you would likely join him. Did you hear from a lot of people about that?
"Coaches were calling me, asking me if I was going to go to Minnesota. I don't know yet. I've got to take my next four visits to see what those schools have to offer. Minnesota is definitely in the top three, regardless, because it is home. I'm here with my mom and my friends. To play in front of my friends and family. They are always going to be in the top three, no matter what."
Do you know where else you want to visit?
Are you going to take more visits?
"I have to. You never know what other schools have to offer you. You have to see for yourself. Like here, Minnesota brought my mom out and set her up in the hotel for the weekend. I appreciated that. Here, I'll be with my mom, so she'll know what it is like. Other schools, I have to go by myself, so I can see what it will be like, because I'll be there by myself. My mom won't be there. So, I definitely have to take more visits."
What type of team are you expecting from Garden City this year?
"I expect to see us in Hutch (Hutchinson, Kansas- the home of the NJCAA Tournament), definitely. Right now, we are in the gym every day, working hard. The focus of the team has changed from last year. Last year, we had a lot of talent. Talent-wise, we were one of the best teams in the country. We just could not finish it. We've got a couple of young guys coming in, but they understand that we have James Davis, Torre Johnson (a 6-foot-6 forward who averaged 19.2 points per game last season) and B.J. Walker (a. They understand that the offense has to go through the big guys, if you want to go to Hutch and win. The way we play, you should definitely expect to see us in Hutch this year.
Davis helped lead the Polars to the Minnesota Class AAAA state championship as he averaged 14 points and 14 rebounds as a high school senior. He was named to the 11-man College Basketball News' Minnesota All-State team.
Garden City finished 23-9 this season, an improvement from a 15-16 mark the previous year under first-year head coach Ryan Swanson. They were defeated by Independence in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference playoffs.