|Thursday, July 10
Davis dances past competition at ABCD
By Michael Kruse
Special to ESPN.com
HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Sssssshhhhhh.
Want to hear a secret?
Glen Davis isn't the only post prospect at adidas ABCD Camp with a chance to play in the NBA one day.
But he is the only post prospect here this week -- probably anywhere this week -- who's danced a part in the "Nutcracker" ballet.
The 6-foot-8 power forward, a.k.a. Big Baby, all 320 pounds of him, was the Rat King last December in a community theatre production in his native Baton Rouge, La.
Black tights, leotard, frilly white foo foo shirt -- the whole deal.
"Back home," Davis said with a grin at the Rothman Center on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, "they call me twinkletoes."
All of which makes for a head-shaker of a tidbit that just confirms an already established reality: This kid is ... different. There's no one else like him.
Not a soul.
"He's rather freakish," said Dave Telep, a national recruiting analyst for TheInsidersHoops.com. "Guys that big, they're not half the athlete he is -- obviously, his chromosomes are fused differently than ours."
Chromosomes? Who knows? But something allows Davis to do things he simply shouldn't be able to do.
Like, for instance, he played football for University Lab through last fall -- which isn't surprising, after all, given his unusually bulky build. But he played tailback.
On the basketball court, meanwhile, he averaged 25 points and 15 boards this past season -- but that doesn't even begin to tell the half of it.
Nor did his super showing Wednesday here at ABCD -- 14 points and 10 rebounds in one game and 16 and 10 in another. It was how he did it that had folks in the stands gawking in a sort of delighted disbelief.
Davis led the occasional break after grabbing not-so-occasional rebounds -- on a team with a certain Sebastian Telfair running point -- and finished around the rim with deft touch from either hand.
In one particularly crowd-pleasing sequence, he showed off some dribble skills, shed his defender out by the three-point line and made his way into the lane before converting a twisting, acrobatic layup.
Indiana, LSU, Miami, Georgia and Oklahoma like him -- and he likes them -- and it's no wonder.
The kid combines a nimbleness that makes absolutely no sense considering his sizeable dimensions. He's light on his feet. Honest.
His methods boggle the mind. But the results come clear.
"Big Baby looked good," Bob Gibbons All Star Sports Report scout Rob Matera said after Wednesday night's session. "He looked real good."
But how does he do it?
How does he do what he does with the body he has?
"I don't know," Telep said. "I'm no doctor. I can't explain that."
Nobody can. Just like nobody can explain why or how or what might possess a kid that huge to suit up for the "Nutcracker. Not even his own mother.
But that's what makes him fun.
He's been known to bust a little on-court jig during a stoppage in play. Not at anybody's expense -- that's just him. He's a performer just as much as he is a player. And he is a player.
His goal here this week?
"Don't take no bullcrap," he said. "Just let 'em know."
Let 'em know? Know what?
"That I'm hungry, man," he added. "I just want to be No. 1."
He's on his way -- dancin' all along.
And that's no secret.
Michael Kruse, who writes for the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.