Willie Davis used to live not far from Trademark Church in southwestern Fort Worth. I don’t know if his neighbors at the time realized they lived by a man who had been an all-conference basketball player at what is now known as the University of North Texas. Or that he became the first American to lead the French professional league in scoring, or that he followed that up by playing in the American Basketball Association. But in any case, Davis has a soft spot for his old haunts and he returned to the area on Saturday. He brought company.
Davis now serves as president for the local chapter of the National Retired Basketball Players Association, which counts former NBA, ABA, WNBA, and Harlem Globetrotter players among its membership. Members of the National Football League Alumni Association joined the NBRPA, along with volunteers and a lot – a lot – of Fort Worth police officers on Saturday. Fort Worth City Councilman Jared Williams and his staff assisted with logistics. Those logistics included officers managing a long line of cars that stretched around the block on Trail Lake Drive by the church.
The assembled vehicles consisted of families in need who had come to collect turkey vouchers and enough dry goods to make Thanksgiving dinners. Central Market had donated the foodstuffs and the Fort Worth Police Department joined in as part of its Beyond the Badge community imitative.
In the video interview that serves as the centerpiece of this interview, Davis explains what the event entailed and the value of the cops’ participation.