In spite of a childhood bout with Polio Walter "Buddy" Davis excelled in basketball and high jumping. In high school, his basketball success led him to the North-South All-Star Game where he was voted the outstanding player. By his senior year, he had won the district and regional high-jump titles. At Texas A&M in 1952, Davis helped the Aggies win their first Southwest Conference basketball championship in 30 years. Meanwhile, he was developing into a world-class high-jumper. As a junior, Davis won the Texas Relays and tied for second at the NCAA meet. In his senior year, he won the conference championship by setting a new Texas Relay record, tied for the NCAA title, set a new AAU mark and concluded his career with a gold medal at the 1952 Olympics with a record jump of 6 feet 8 inches. He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1964.