Jerome Davis basketball story revisited

Jerome Davis basketball story revisitedI have greatly enjoyed working with Jerome on his World Champion track story. Yet working with him to get “the basketball” story right has been a great opportunity to reminisce with Jerome. The essence of the story remains the same, yet the details are more refined. An incredible story, worth repeating.

Although a track star in high school, Jerome played varsity basketball. Jerome’s older brother Eddie (jersey number 32), a 1990 BHS basketball standout died of cancer in early 1995, which was Jerome’s senior year. Eddie had recently graduated from California State University, Fresno. Before the game, Jerome and teammate Demario Brown traded jerseys, so that Jerome could wear his brother Eddie’s number (32).

Playing against league-leading Palmdale in the season finale, the Burros were down 25 points in the first quarter. Led by Jerome, the Burros cut Palmdale’s lead to 10 by halftime. Eddie’s Jersey was “retired” during halftime, the grieving Davis family present. I was there. The entire Burroughs “Barn” was emotionally charged. Jerome led the second half comeback. The lead changed hands with each possession. With less the ten seconds left in fourth quarter; Palmdale tied the game at 67. With Burroughs having possession, Head Coach Bill Campbell (BHS) called a time out. There was no question as to the winning strategy. In-bound the ball to the fastest player on the court, Jerome.

Jerome knew he was fast enough to drive the length of the court for a lay-up, which he did, except that he was fouled before the shot. Jerome went to the line for two free throw attempts, with one second left on the clock. If he missed the first shot, the game would go to overtime, tied at 67. Jerome made the first shot, “rattling the rim,” putting Burroughs ahead by one. The second free throw hit the back of the rim, returning untouched to Jerome at the line. Game over!

UCLA’s Tyus Edney must have been in the Burroughs “Barn” that night. One month later in the second round of 1995 NCAA basketball tournament, UCLA was down by one against Missouri. With five seconds left on the clock, Tyus Edney took the in bound pass all the way to the bucket for a lay-up win, 75-74. In 1995, UCLA won its 11th NCAA basketball title.

Tim Allen, a member of the Burroughs 1982 State Champion basketball team, wrote a terrific article describing Burroughs 1995 comeback win against Palmdale. Tim was sports editor for the Daily Independent at the time.

Courtesy photo: Jerome, his wife Angela, and sons Edward and Lorenzo

Story First Published: 2021-08-27