Next Gen: Carlin Davison poised for big leap with Airs

A quick search on Youtube tells you all you need to know about Taranaki Steelformers Airs forward Carlin Davison, who has established himself as one of the premier athletes in the Sal’s NBL.

At just 18 years old, Davison has been soaring through the skies with the Airs for the past two seasons and if last season was any indication, he’s got potential written all over him. Davison featured in 18 games in 2021, posting averages of 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 25.9 minutes per game.

With a quick first step and a desire to play downhill, Davison is not someone you want to be standing in front of near the rim. And with his game continuing to expand with more time on the court, it’s only a matter of time before he’s a threat to score from anywhere.

Davison said he’s been working with the coaching staff on developing his 3-point shot and improving his ball-handling during the offseason.

“My coaches have been great helping me with my weaknesses on court. We’ve spent lots of time in the gym working with the shooting machine and dribbling the ball,” he said.

“I got a lot of minutes last season, and it was good to get the opportunity. Just having the confidence to shoot from three is a big one for me, as I generally played all inside because I like to get to the rim.

“Areas like my ball-handling and 3-point shooting need to improve so that’s my focus this year.”

Working with an experienced head coach like Trent Adam has taught Davison the importance of defence, another area where his athletic ability could translate well.

“I honestly didn’t realise the importance of defence until I met coach Trent. He’s given me a different mindset; now I look at it like if you don’t play defence you’re not going to win.

“Coach Trent is really smart when it comes to basketball. He’s an awesome coach and I love playing for him.”

Coach Trent Adam praised Davison’s ability to see the floor and wants to give him more freedom on the court in 2022.

“Carlin sees the floor so well and understands the game at a high level. Although he was effectively a school kid last year, we want to utilize his ability to read the floor and make decisions,” said Adam.

“We’re working with him to find exactly where he fits in on the court. Rather than giving Carlin a box that I thought was his skillset, we want him to find his own boundaries and play with a bit of freedom.”

The Airs re-signed Tall Blacks big man Tai Wynyard during free agency, along with one of the newest Tall Blacks, guard Richie Rodger. Davison feels good about how the team is shaping up and believes having players like them on the team will do wonders.

“The team is looking great; we had a good offseason. The boys have been working hard on the court and hitting the weights in the gym.

“Two great signings with getting Tai back and bringing in Richie – both are great players. Tai has been looking dominant during preseason and I can’t wait to hit the floor with him.

“I’ve met Richie a few times and he was great to be around. He’s going to be a good player to learn off. I thought it was awesome that they got to go away with the Tall Blacks they both deserved it.”

Davison wants to improve his numbers across the board this season and says there’s only one goal in mind for the team – win a championship.

“My goal this season is to have consistent numbers in all areas and try and get a development roster spot in the ANBL next year. Obviously from a team perspective, we want to win the championship because if that’s not your goal then what are you playing for.

“Our coaches have put down a great platform for us this season and I can’t wait to get out there and have some fun.”

Davison and the Airs take flight on April 30 against the Auckland Tuatara. The full 2022 Sal’s NBL schedule can be found HERE.


Check out Carlin Davison's 2021 Sal's NBL highlights:


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