Sometimes life throws you a pump fake, and it’s up to you to decide how to proceed. You can embrace the fake and head to the hoop, you can pass the ball off to a teammate or you can keep pump faking until you get the open look.
In my case, I kept on faking until I found exactly the shot I wanted.
After saying goodbye to my newfound Kansas family, I hopped a flight to Charlotte, where I was going to catch a flight to Atlanta for the Florida vs. Georgia game Tuesday night.
But the basketball gods had other plans for me.
Stuck in Charlotte, with no flights out and no rental cars to be had, I pivoted.
After a quick search of games going on in the area, I zeroed in on the Davidson vs. Richmond matchup at Belk Arena that night. A swift email exchange between the awesome SID there and suddenly I was ordering an Uber and throwing on some Petey Pablo in my headphones.
Davidson is an adorable town – it reminded me a lot of Georgetown with all the brick buildings and cute little streets. And though Belk Arena was on the smaller side, its fans were fierce and their spirit was mighty.
I was disappointed to learn that the infamous Jack Gibbs would not be playing due to illness but the game itself was still very exciting to watch. It was only later, after the game that I learned Gibbs had recently been informed by his mother that she had been diagnosed with cancer. Davidson head coach Bob McKillop shared with the media after the game that Gibbs was grief stricken, which may have contributed to his illness. But McKillop also told us that Gibb’s mother flew to Davidson Monday to reassure Jack that she was ok. Prayers go out to the entire Gibbs family.
Both teams traded buckets throughout the game and it was never very clear where the real advantage lay.
The winner wasn’t determined until the final seconds of the game, when Davidson sank a few shots, played stingy defense and hit key free throws to defeat Richmond 83-79. Davidson’s Peyton Aldridge led the team with 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Brian Sullivan added 21 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Richmond was led by standout T.J. Cline, son of Tim Cline and Nancy Lieberman, who finished with 25 points, five rebounds and three assists. What stuck me as interesting was the fact that the Spiders shot 51.8 percent from the field and only turned the ball over 4 times but still managed to lose the game. College basketball, you crazy.
After the game, I wondered the halls of the arena and found myself face-to-face with Steph Curry himself. While the school won’t retire his jersey because he never finished his degree, they do have several pictures and the like honoring the former Wildcat, all of which I was happy to snapchat for my Warrior fans back home.
Then back to Charlotte I went to get a good night’s sleep and a shower before traveling Tobacco Road the next day for the Duke at North Carolina game Wednesday night.
See you on the other side.