Making His Shot Count
by Christina Egbert
December 21, 2017
It took less than a month for freshman Jack Davidson to go from starting in his first-ever college basketball game to being named conference player of the week.
His love of the game started with a Fisher-Price basketball hoop in the backyard. Though it was always a dream of Davidson’s to play college basketball, he never thought that he’d be making a name for himself so quickly.
“When I was recruited,” Davidson said, “they said I’d have to work hard every day. I’ve already had a couple of big games early this season that I didn’t think I’d have, so I’m just thankful that my coaches gave me this opportunity to excel so early.”
The point guard was recruited from Hamilton Southeastern High School, where, unlike at Wabash, he didn’t come close to starting on the varsity team his freshman year.
Davidson spent almost every day working in the gym, trying to get better, and he’s never lost that mindset.
“College basketball is really tough,” he said, “the physicality of the game – no matter who you’re playing. Every game is going to be a grind, and you have to ready. I’ve always worked on my shooting, and now I’m focusing on my ball handling and finishing around the rim.”
“Jack is that rare freshman who understands how hard you have to work,” basketball head coach Kyle Brumett said. “Basketball is very important to him. He is often the first guy to practice and the last guy to leave. He is living my Wabash vision as a coach. He is a very good player and is working to be great.”
The week the North Coast Athletic Conference awarded Davidson player-of-the-week honors, after he recorded his first collegiate double-double in the team’s victory against Earlham, scoring 35 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He also scored 17 points in the road win against 25th-ranked Wooster.
“That was a big win,” he said. “To come in as a freshman and help my team beat them on the road my first year was awesome. And the locker room afterward was a great time.”
Davidson has always been either a point guard or a shooting guard because, as he explained with a laugh, he’s never been big enough to play any other position.
To step into the type of a leadership role that the point guard often has might seem like a lot of pressure for a freshman, but Davidson doesn’t look at it that way.
“It’s a great opportunity to help my team win and improve,” he said. “We’re developing as a team and working together, and I’m just trying to come in and do what I can to make the team better.”
Davidson said he plays better when he gets to interact with the crowd, so when he saw the Chadwick Crazies in action, he knew he’d love playing on the Little Giant basketball team.
“It’s more fun to play in front of a crowd, whether it’s your fans or other fans,” he said. “If it’s the other school’s fans, it’s awesome to be able to play in front of them as they’re heckling you and being able to shut them up. And when you’re playing in front of your own fans, you just feed off of their energy. The students here are really into the games, and it’s a lot of fun to play in that atmosphere.”
Watching Davidson dribble the ball up the court while calling out plays is a sight that Wabash fans should get used to. And, if they play close attention, Davidson has a very consistent characteristic once that play he called is in motion.
“My tongue is always out,” he laughed. “It’s always been like that, and it’s probably never going to change. I don’t know why – it just happens. My parents were probably the first ones who noticed. They’d ask me, ‘Why is your tongue out?’ And I wouldn’t even know that it was!”
If there’s been anything Davidson’s struggled with this semester, it’s been figuring out how to balance academics during basketball season. (He had to battle a week-long flu during finals week too!) According to Coach Brumett, Davidson has figured out the rigors of the collegiate classroom as quickly as he has the court.
“He did extremely well academically in his first semester,” Brumett said. “He made the Dean’s List and is having a great time socially. He is doing it all at Wabash, and we couldn’t be more excited about his future here.”