Mike Davis returns to Assembly Hall for Sunday evening practice

While a soft blanket of snow fell on the town he used to call home, former Indiana coach Mike Davis walked into Assembly Hall Sunday evening and allowed the memories to come pouring back to him.

“The gym hasn’t changed,” Davis said.

More than eight years have passed from the day Davis resigned as Indiana’s coach until Sunday, when he took his first steps back in the venerable building that gave him his future. He packed his Texas Southern basketball team onto a bus around 6:30 local time and led them to Assembly Hall for an evening practice on the same floor where he had watched so many practices years before.

This one, ahead of Monday’s game against IU, was much different than the rest.

“This brings back a lot of memories,” Davis said. “This was a great opportunity (coaching here). It gave my family a hometown and a lot of things to be proud of — us going to the Final Four, me just being on the sidelines coaching. I wouldn’t be coaching now if I wasn’t at Indiana. I’ve had two jobs since then and wouldn’t have had either job if I wasn’t the head coach and played for a championship.”

Davis says he was eager to accept this game as part of his non-conference schedule for two reasons — he wanted to show his team what it meant to play “big-time basketball,” and he wanted to bring his family back to Bloomington. Joining Davis on the trip are his sons Mike Jr., a former Bloomington North and IU player who’s now an assistant on his father’s staff, and Antoine, who was just a small child running around the arena when Davis coached here last.

“Mike was in seventh grade when we moved here,” Davis said. “This is his hometown, when you think about it. He was here through high school and Antoine was born here. For both of them, it’s a homecoming.”

You can read more on Davis’ return to Bloomington in Monday’s Herald-Times.

One comment

  1. Welcome back, Coach Davis! I appreciated that you always stood tall in the face of criticism hurled at you. Your task, in following the legend Bob Knight, wasn’t easy, especially for a person who happened to be black. Our players were fortunate to have you. Your current players are fortunate to have you, too, You remain a good person and role model for them.

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