I was privileged to be in attendance at Duke University from 1988 to 1992 - an extraordinary time to be a Dukie! I joined the ranks of the Cameron Crazies, and even the pep band where I was cymbal-line captain since it was the only band instrument I was able to play (cellos and pianos are hard to carry around a football field). The basketball experience at Duke was fantastic, and it's something I will always cherish.
I occasionally have the opportunity to attend a game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. It always brings back to me how much I had enjoyed the up close and personal experience of watching the team play. I watch every tv broadcast game religiously, and I am always rooting for the boys to win.
I have several ritualistic “lucky’ things that I do to help contribute to the team’s win (or so I imagine I am doing). I have a lucky Duke hat, I develop nicknames for the boys (such as “Michael the Arc-Angel” for Michael Dunleavy), I never criticize them when I’m cheering during a game, whether anyone is there to hear me or not, and just generally put out as much good vibes as possible for Coach K and the young men who strive so hard on the court.
I do have favorite players, of course. While I was at school there, Bobby Hurley was my favorite. He had such drive and determination, and was an incredible athlete as well. There were many games when I saw him as the fire behind the Blue Devils. He started out with a bit of an attitude, but he really mastered his game in his time at Duke. Shane Battier has really turned out to be a hero for me over the past few years. Shane, should he ever actually take this hypothetical journey into politics someday, would have my vote, if for no other reason than I believe him to be an honest person and a man of his word. It's hard to say that about many people these days. This year (2001-2002), Michael Dunleavy is my favorite, although in general it is very hard to pick favorites out of such an outstanding team. I watched them all season long, and although their season ended earlier than anyone expected it to, I am grateful for the enjoyment they gave me in watching them perform and struggle to do their best. My best wishes go to Matt Christensen, Jason Williams and Carlos Boozer as they move on from Duke to new realms.
I should make note that the Duke Women's Basketball program is also very talented, and I am glad to see them getting increasing press of late. What a remarkable job Coach Gail Gostenkers has done there. In fact, they have made it to the final four as of this update! Congratulations, and I'll be pulling for you!
Duke Basketball Report, the best Duke hoops site I've seen
Duke Update – my friend Rob Clough writes for them sometimes! (He also writes the Women's articles for DBR)