Just three years ago, Anthony Davis was 6-foot-2 inches tall. Today he's 6-foot-10. He didn't have any real difficulty learning how to play big, primarily because he already had developed his game significantly before experiencing an incredible eight-inch growth spurt, that took him from little known high school prospect to America's top recruit.
In his only season at Kentucky, Davis dominated college basketball. He won a national championship and every major individual honor. In all likelihood, the exceptionally talented and athletic Davis is less than two weeks from being the first player selected in the June 28 NBA Draft.
"It's very crazy for me. Overwhelming," Davis, 19, said last week of his amazing draft ascension. "I'm just trying to take it all in. I used to just look at all types of magazines and say, 'I wish it was me on the cover.' I had no thought of ever being here right now."
In the near future, Davis will not only see his face on the cover of magazines, but also on signs and billboards across New Orleans, as the Hornets promote their new franchise player.
In the past 15 years, nine players 6-10 or taller, have been drafted No. 1 overall. Davis feels that not being far removed from his days as a ball handler and slashing guard will give him an edge at the pro level.
"To be able to run the floor faster than most guys, dribbling, shooting, soft touch around the rim, catching the ball, it's been very great, just to have the basketball IQ, knowing what to do in the open floor," said Davis, who averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocked shots last season.
"New Orleans is great. Great city. Great places to be around," Davis said. "They've had a lot of downfalls. I'm going to try to help the city as much as I can."
Davis' Kentucky Wildcats played a challenging schedule last season, and won six straight NCAA Tournament games to capture the national title. He became accustomed to being challenged at Kentucky, and he doesn't expect the NBA to be any different.
"I think it prepared me," Davis said about playing in Lexington. "That was a big stage for us, everybody who played on that team. Every game, everybody wanted to come after us."
Regarding his newly-discovered fame, "Got to get used to it, I guess," Davis said.