Colleagues remember Milwaukee basketball and track coach who died after complications from COVID-19

Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 21:19:09-04

MILWAUKEE — "He just really inspired kids to be the best they possibly can be at spite of adversity. In spite of anything that they might be going through," Lamont Shelton says.

Lamont Shelton knew Ralph Davis from the Washington High School Mentor program. He couldn't say enough about the big guy, with a big heart.

TMJ4 News Main Sports Anchor Lance Allan asks I've heard Lamont from numerous people...why was Ralph so beloved in your opinion?

"Oh, wow. I mean, we can go on and on—just a genuine guy. A heart of gold, compassion about what he does, about who he's around," Shelton says.

Former player Tre'Quan Martin is one of his success stories.

"He's touched a lot of people. And I know a lot of people might feel his death as a loss. But we truly gained something," Martin says.

Davis died of COVID-19 complications Wednesday morning. He was 60 and a beloved basketball and track coach, who left an impression on all he touched, even Jason Friske, who briefly worked with him in 2009.

"My time with him was so brief... yet he made such a lasting impression on myself personally. And you know, the other day, when they made mention of his passing, you know, I immediately thought about you and reaching out to you because he touched so many lives through the years, as a basketball and a track coach," Jason Friske says.

The Washington Purgolders basketball community says it's been an outpouring of love for Ralph and those who knew him.

"A gentle giant...a person that can get to you. A person that can actually just help you become the best person you can possibly be. Even in the darkest of times, even when you're having a bad day. If you didn't have the pleasure or opportunity to know this man, you missed out on a great one," Shelton says.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.