Gage Davis is a 23 year old 193cm guard from Bolingbrook,Illinois. He began his basketball career with Bolingbrook High School. He played at St.Cloud State (NCAA2) from 2015-2019 playing atotal of 108 NCAA 2 games. He put up massive stats in four years with 19.7ppg, 8.0rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 42.1%, FT: 76.1% as a freshman, 23.9ppg, 9.5rpg, 4.5apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 34.4%, FT: 76.1% as a sophomore, 19.2ppg, 7.8rpg, 3.6apg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 33.1%, FT: 83.0% as a junior and : 26.0ppg, 7.5rpg, 3.3apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 80.1% as a senior. He began his professional basketball career in Germany with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig, but was let go recently. He was invited to training camp with G-League team Windy City Bulls. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Hi Gage thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is your basketball life at the moment?
No problem, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with german hoops. I am currently back in the Chicago area with my family. Basketball wise, I came back home and got right to work. Working out on the daily, you have to stay ready. At this level you have to be ready whenever an opportunity presents itself. Staying ready so you don’t have to get ready is something I believe in.
You signed your first professional contract with the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig over the summer and spent the pre-season with the club. Then you were released. How unexpected did this come to you or did you feel like your days were numbered at the end?
I was grateful for the opportunity given to me by Lowen Braunscheig over the summer and preseason. It was a great learning and building experience for me as a player. Being released came as a surprise to me. It was expressed to me that I was doing well and adjusting to the European game at a quick rate. I understand the team’s decision to go with an experienced PG with a young team, and wish them the best of luck this season.
How disappointed are you that Braunschweig didn’t work out for you? Despite having a very solid pre season where you showed your abilities well, is it hard to accept their reasoning that you weren’t ready for the style of play yet and they didn’t have the time to wait?
At first it was disappointing of course. I felt like I was growing and becoming more comfortable with that style of play. I was told I was doing everything right, so it more of a surprise to me. After showing some of what I can offer in the preseason, it was a little more difficult to accept they wanted to go in a different direction. It was expressed to me that it wasn’t anything against me or my talent, but more the timing so I understood.
After averaging 26,0ppg as a senior at St.Cloud State (NCAA2) do you feel like you were ready to play in the BBL. On what area’s will you continue to work on now so you will be able to show your abilities when you get that next opportunity?
After this past senior season, I felt like I was ready to play at any level and I still believe that. The BBL is a great league and would have been a great opportunity for me to prove myself as well as grow as a player. I want to continue to grow as a point guard, not just a scoring guard. Germany gave me a little glimpse at that point guard position. I want to continue to grow and become a more solid PG, while still keeping that same scoring mindset.
With what kind of feelings did you leave the club Baskets Lowen Braunschweig? Head coach Pete Strobl stated that the club needed a guy like you. In the end it was a numbers game as they chose the veteran Trevor Releford
At first I was a little upset but it was business, and at the end of the day I can’t control their decision. I left with no harsh feeling towards the club or my teammates. In fact, many of my former teammates from Braunschweig reached out to me when they heard the news. Head Coach, Pete Strobl, taught me a lot in my time with the team and is a great guy. Coach Strobl continually pushed me as a player and really cares about his players. In the end, I thank him for all he’s done for me.
What overall kind of experience was it being with your first professional team Baskets Lowen Braunschweig? What positives can you take from this experience that will help you at your next gig?
Overall, I would say it was a great learning experience and a chance to grow as a player. I enjoyed Braunschweig and the people around me while I was there. One positive I took from this experience is adjusting to the speed and physicality of play. There is always an adjustment period when transitioning to the next level and this was my chance to make that adjustment. Another positive I take from this experience is learning the business side of the professional world. In my case, it came down to a tough business decision and I think I have a better understanding for that side of the game now.
What kind of experience was it having German Garai Zeeb as a teammate? Could you soak up something from the ex U-20 German national player who will be going into his fifth BBL season.
Garai was a great teammate. His experience in the league made him a great teammate to reach out to when I had questions. If he seen something that would help me, he would come and tell me without me even asking. He has been a PG in the BBL for a five years so he knows the game and helped me adjust to that style of play. He is a good person as well as a good teammate and thank him for all his help.
What is the next step for you? How confident are you that you will land with another club somewhere in your rookie season?
Right now, my options are kind of open and I’m just staying ready for my next opportunity. I’m confident that I will land with another club somewhere this season. I believe in my abilities as well as my agent and agency I’m with. We knew this was a possibility and wanted to have other opportunities if Braunschweig didn’t work out.
You played four years at St Cloud State (NCAA) from 2015-2019 and was a All-NSIC 1st Team selection each year. What were your fondest memories there?
Some of the best memories at St. Cloud State are memories that have nothing to do with basketball and just time with my teammates. One thing I could never forget in St. Cloud are the people. One of my best basketball memories there was playing and winning a game in the NCAA tournament. The school hadn’t been to the tournament in a long time so for our team to get back there, and be able to win was a memorable experience. Another memorable moment for me was finally winning player of the year. After two seasons (sophomore and junior) of what some people would call snubbed out of it, I finally was awarded this achievement. Learning that it wasn’t only good enough to get stats but also winning was what it took to get looked at, at that level. The amount of work and failure made receiving that award more special.
You averaged never less than 19,2ppg in your four years at ST Cloud State. Despite having big time stats from the get go, how do you feel did your game develop in your time there?
Having a good start to my career there made things that much harder. Becoming the focus of other teams early in my career made me learn how to score and produce in different ways. It developed me as a player because every type of defense was thrown at me. I had to adjust and learn how to go against things I hadn’t seen before. Being there also developed me as a playmaker because the ball was in my hands a lot of times. I learned how to read ball screens and the defense to make it easier for my team to be successful.
You had 47 points in a tough 77-76 loss to Wayne State NE. Was this one of the tougher loses in your NCAA 2 career?
Every loss is a tough one but this is one that will stick with me forever. It was the conference tournament my senior year and of course you want to finish your career winning a championship. They put an end to our conference championship dreams and it did hurt. That was a game where you’re trying to do everything in your power to win the game and come up just short. It will stick with me for a long time, but I learned a lot from that game and hopefully it can help me moving forward.
As a sophomore you averaged an amazing 9,5rpg at 193cm. What overall is your secret to getting more rebounds than many centers? It has to be more than just perfect anticipation?
Rebounding all comes down to who wants it more. So a lot of time I crash hard both offensively and defensively seeing if anyone wants it more than me. A lot of times you’ll see me flying through giving my all for a rebound. That’s because I know it’s an important aspect of the game and maybe those few extra possessions win us a game. It also helps I can jump pretty high.
How did head coach Matt Reimer groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Reimer believed that I would be a professional basketball player from the very beginning. He stayed on top of me and pushed me every day in practice to become better. He taught me what it took to be a successful player and you couldn’t waste days of practice and time in the gym. He continually believed in me and gave me the opportunities to show that I belonged on the next level and I am forever grateful for that.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Brindley Theisen?
I believed St. Cloud was my sanctuary so you know I had to defend what’s mine. Brindley was just one of the people who had to deal with my own determination to prove it. We had some good battles but Brindley will tell you himself I’m winning that every time.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA 2 that is in the NBA or Europe now?
Well not too many players from NCAA 2 make it to that level, and it’s not that they can’t play it’s just the opportunities aren’t there. One player that I played against, who was pretty tough and played with the Milwaukee Bucks summer league, is Dalton Holmes. He’s a 6’7 versatile shooter, and was NCAA 2 player of the year. We got the win but after they went on to win 20+ in a row. That was one of the guys that has made it to that level who I had a chance to play against while at NCAA 2.
Please name your personal NBA Rushmore?
Micheal Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Larry Bird
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I believe that both are great and understand why it’s a never ending debate. Lebron is such a dominant player and makes the players around him so much better as well. When it comes to Michael, he was just a killer. He could score any way possible and had that fire and competitor in him that made him a killer. His skill package is unmatched, except maybe for Kobe. Along with this Michael has the 6 for 6 to go along with him, which in my eyes makes him the greatest of all time.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was actually on the plane on my way back from Braunschweig and it was Long Shot. It’s a pretty funny movie, starring Seth Rogan, and it’s about how him and the secretary of state fall in love. It was actually a pretty good movie.
Thanks Gage for the chat.