Anthony Davis originally came in thirteenth place as the United States determined its basketball roster.
Without a spot on the 2012 Olympic basketball team, Davis could have spent part of his summer in Las Vegas, joining the rest of his draft class in the NBA Summer League.
Prior to the start of Olympic tryouts, Davis rolled his right ankle, seemingly ending any chance of playing in London.
Instead, the loss of Blake Griffin became the opportunity of a lifetime for Davis.
Named an injury replacement for Griffin, forced to miss the Olympic games after being diagnosed with a meniscus tear in his left knee, Davis was headed to London.
The lone rookie on Team USA saw limited playing time during five warm up games and fewer field goal attempts.
Tuesday against Tunisia, one of the lighter opponents in Pool A play, Davis made the most of his opportunity.
The daily preview in the press center said it “could prove to be one of the most lopsided matchups of London 2012.”
Following a slow start, as Tunisia scored 15 points in the first quarter after logging the same point total in the first half against Nigeria, the United States was able to pull away.
The reserves for Team USA opened the third quarter with a 21-3 run, building on a 13 point half time lead and enabling Davis some playing time.
In the third quarter, the United States quit launching 3-pointers, after missing 10-of-12 attempts to open the game, and began attacking the rim.
Davis led the way, flushing home numerous alley-oops, scoring 12 points, making each of his five shots from the field, all dunks, and sinking both free throw attempts.
The performance showed Davis can provide an impact next season for the Hornets.
As the best shot blocking prospect to come out of the NCAA in nearly two decades, Davis will be better prepared to make his debut with New Orleans after spending the summer backing up Tyson Chandler, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Even though he wasn’t among the players originally selected to represent the United States this summer, there is little doubt he belongs.
As Davis participates in daily practices against the best competition in the NBA and playing the best players the world has to offer, the top pick of the 2012 Draft has proven to be worthy.