From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Davis, William E. "Bunny"

(born: 1917  -  died: 2001) 

Born in Perryville, KY, William E. Davis played football, baseball and basketball at Bate High School in Danville. He was an all-state forward in basketball and selected to play on the All American Negro High School basketball team of 1936. It is thought that Davis was the first African American basketball player to be named an All-American. Davis could run the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds. He played semi-pro baseball prior to integration: in 1947 he joined the Lexington Hustlers, the first integrated baseball team in the South. Davis was the first African American to umpire baseball in state high school tournaments and the Kentucky for the Southeastern Conference. He was also the chief doorkeeper for the Kentucky House of Representatives. For more see Shadows of the past, by L. Stout; and "William 'Bunny' Davis, Athlete Commissioner," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/14/2001, Obituaries, p. B2. See also the sound recorded interviews with William E. "Bunny" Davis in Louie B. Nunn Oral History Collection in the Special Collections Research Center, University of Kentucky Libraries.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Lexington Hustlers Baseball Team
NKAA Entry: Stout, Louis
NKAA Source: Shadows of the past: a history of the Kentucky High School Athletic League
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Davis, William E. "Bunny",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 18, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-01-23 01:01:58