Davey Whitney to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email


Davey L. Whitney who makes his home in Biloxi, will be one of seven men inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, Missouri.

Whitney says as a young man he wanted to be a baseball player, but because of circumstances, he began coaching basketball.

"I never wanted to be a coach or teach school.  I got passed over, which is a long story in baseball, " Whitney said. "I thought I was always going to be a major league baseball player."

Whitney played shortstop with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Baseball League from 1952-1954.  He was chosen to play on the All Star team in 1954 in Comiskey Park, in Chicago.

He said because the Chicago Cubs didn't offer him a contract to play with the Major League team, he decided to pursue coaching.  The move proved to be highly successful.

"I guess I carried the same kind of determination in baseball over to coaching," he stated. "I played with the Kansas City Monarchs. I played with Satchel Paige.  I replaced Ernie Banks and I thought they were going to sell me and certain things happened and it just didn't pan out."

The Midway, Kentucky native was born on January 8, 1930.  He excelled in basketball and baseball in high school.  After his dilemma in baseball, Whitney became a high school basketball coach and was named National High School "Coach of the year" in 1961.  His team won the National High School Tournament Championship in 1961 and his teams captured three Kentucky State Tournament Championships.

He coached at Alcorn State from 1969-88 and again from 1996-2002.  Whitney's overall coaching record as a head coach was 550 wins and 337 defeats.  495 of those victories were compiled at Alcorn State.  He won 11 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and was named SWAC Coach of the Year ten times.

He coached the first predominantly black team to play in the NCAA Tournament and to win a tournament game.  Whitney also coached second and third place winners in the NAIA National Tournament.

Whitney was an assistant coach of the 1991 CBA Champions and later coached pro basketball teams on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

On Sunday he'll be rubbing shoulders with Duke's Christian Laettner, NC State's David Thompson, Jerry West of West Virginia, Kansas State coach Tex Winter, UCLA player Sidney Wicks, Wayne Duke of the Big Ten and Tom Jernstedt of the NCAA in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame 2010 Class.

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