Naturalized basketball player brings Taiwan hoop onto the world stage
You don’t have to be a hardcore basketball fan in Taiwan to know the name Quincy Davis.
The 203-centimeter basketball player has almost become a household name in the island where basketball is one of the most popular and most-played sports.
The American-born center has played a major role in lifting the international competitiveness of Taiwanese basketball over the past years since he gave up his U.S. citizenship to be granted Republic of China nationality in July 2013.
The naturalized player is the reason for Taiwan’s twice surprising victory over China on the hardwood in 2013.
What makes the player stand out is not his personal statistics and numbers but his ability to encourage his teammates to be better.
“I just want to show my teammates that I am one of them,” Davis told The China Post during a recent interview.
Davis, who has just recovered from a herniated intervertebral disk problem and started practicing following weeks of rehab, said he was ready to begin practicing so that he will be soon be ready for the national squad in upcoming international events.
Commenting on the future prospects of the national team, the 32-year-old center said the squad has already made significant improvements over the past years but there is more work to do in order to take Taiwan to the next level.
“I think our main focus should be not settling with where we are right now and continuing to improve.”
He stressed that all team members should take their role serious because the team is representing Taiwan on the world stage.
“We want to be recognized as a nation and sports is one of the things people use to show their strength,” he noted.
Basketball Journey around the
Now the starting center for Taiwan’s national team, Davis said it was unimaginable for him that one day he would be making a living playing basketball, let alone playing for the national team.
Born in California before later moving to Alabama, Davis began playing basketball at around five years old.
But he never really considered being serious about playing the sport even though he knew he played well and he was taller than other children in his neighborhood.
“I was not that interested in basketball as I was more interested in sports competition because of my competitive nature.”
With his good performance on the hardwood, he began to receive scholarship offers to play basketball at high school before later enroling at Tulane University in New Orleans and where he played for Tulane Green Wave.
In his four-year career there until 2006, he collected 559 rebounds, including 226 offensive rebounds, making him one of just 14 players in school history to achieve both a thousand points and five hundred rebounds.
Though the eye-catching performance did not land him a contract playing professional basketball in the U.S., he was invited to play overseas, first in Cyprus, then Turkey, Venezuela and China, before he was given the opportunity to play for Taiwan’s Super Basketball League (SBL).
Davis said he originally wanted to give up basketball following his China trip. He had already enrolled in a firefighting academy back in the U.S. to prepare to become a firefighter.
Just before he prepared to take his required paramedic test, he got a phone call from his agent saying that an SBL team wanted to recruit him.
The offer was originally proposed by the Taiwan Beer until ultimately Davis joined the PureYouth Construction Basketball Team.
Thinking back to when he first came to the island, Davis said many of his teammates thought he would be fired shortly.
“Many thought that I could not jump as high or seemed stronger than other foreign players in the SBL and I could not do big dunks,” he said.
However, Davis’ coming aboard apparently gave the team positive momentum as it started winning.
He won player of the week and player of the month awards. The Pure Youth ultimately advanced to the finals before losing to the Yulon 4- 1 at 2010- 2011 SBL season.
Davis came back for the 2011-2012 season as his presence in the team continued to make it stronger. At the end of the season, he won the most valuable player award for the 2011-2012 SBL and led the Taichung-based team to its first championship title. The Pure Youth ultimately won three consecutive SBL titles.
Naturalized Taiwanese Citizen
His strong presence in the painted area and his ability to make his teammates better made him a superstar in Taiwan basketball.
His team spirit and his high popularity among Taiwanese fans also makes him a perfect choice for the nation’s basketball authorities when it was decided to recruit foreign players to be naturalized into Taiwan’s national basketball team.
On July, 2013, Davis was officially granted Republic of China nationality and became a genuine Taiwanese.
Asked about the big decision, Davis said it did not take him very long to accept the invitation to be- come a Taiwanese citizen.
He said he is deeply in love with Taiwanese and Asian culture as a whole and more importantly, Taiwanese are very friendly.
“Before making the decision I talked to my mom. She knows how tough in America it can be (for me). To be black and live in the South,” he noted.
“She told me that I should make the choice as long as it makes me happy.”
Now two years after his naturalization, Davis continues to focus on the hardwood to help to improve Taiwan basketball and to nurture local big men so that the national team will become more competitive on the world stage.
Cultivating Future Talents in
Asked about his future plan once he retires and whether he will continue to stay in Taiwan by then, Davis said he is still not sure where he wants to live. But he sure knows that he wants to stay in Taiwan to help nurture local hoop talents.
He said he is planning to set up a school that combines Englishlanguage teaching with basketball training in Taiwan after retirement.
Davis noted that playing basketball can teach kids to work with other people as a team. Learning English is also important for Taiwanese children so that they can one day have a chance to study aboard.
“With English language skills, I hope more Taiwanese can travel around the globe and bring back ideas from foreign lands to Taiwan.”
“They can serve as a bridge to lead Taiwan to see other parts of the world.”
Stressing that Taiwan is home for him now, Davis pledged to continue to take Taiwan basketball to the next level so that the nation can shine on the world stage.
Starting center for Taiwan’s national basketball team, Quincy Davis, poses for this undated photograph taken in Taipei. In July 2013, Davis was officially granted Republic of China nationality and became a Taiwanese citizen.