Erven Davis, a former North Texas graduate assistant coach who built a nationally prominent AAU summer basketball program, died Monday.
Davis’ organization, Dallas Showtyme, announced his passing on its Twitter account.
“Earlier today, God decided to call home The Godfather of DFW Grassroots. Big E impacted thousands of lives through basketball and life. He was true to Family Over Everything. Rest Easy Big E.”
Davis was known nationally for developing players and caring for them as people. Those who knew him best simply called him “Big E.”
Jeff Goodman, a national analyst for Stadium, was among a host of coaches and prominent figures in the basketball community who acknowledged Davis’ passing.
“RIP to Big E of @Dallas_Showtyme,” Goodman wrote. “Was all about helping kids.”
Dozens of Davis’ former players went on to play at the college level, including former UNT forward George Odufuwa and Cobe Williams, who currently plays for Louisiana Tech.
Davis got his start as a student manager at UNT, where he later became a graduate assistant coach under Johnny Jones.
“Saddened by the news, and it hurts deeply because of our relationship,” Jones said via text message Monday night. “He was an outstanding individual who poured his life and passion into young athletes through the game of basketball to make them better people.
“His presence will certainly be missed, but the impact he made on others will live forever.”
Shawn Forrest, a former UNT assistant coach who is now on the staff at Georgia Southern, recalled Davis as a giving person.
“He was all about the kids,” Forrest said. “He was always trying to help people and was genuine.”
Davis is the brother of Chris Davis, one of the greatest players in the history of the UNT men’s basketball program.
Erven Davis’ impact was felt beyond the UNT men’s program. Jalie Mitchell played for UNT and was an assistant coach at the school before taking over as the Mean Green’s head coach. Mitchell also took to Twitter to remember Davis.
“Everything you’d want a big brother to be,” she wrote. “Rest well, E!”
News of Davis’ passing quickly spread in the Dallas-area basketball community, where he was busy coaching his teams this summer.
“RIP Big E,” Baylor assistant coach Alvin Brooks wrote on his Twitter account. “Big E always treated me like family no matter what school I was at! Praying for his family and all the people he impacted!”