Can we be honest with ourselves for a second? Davidson needs to start easing off the Stephen Curry bandwagon. Why? The Wildcats need something else to cheer for other than the 2x NBA Champion who left their school more than 8 years ago. Before you get mad at me, hear me out.
Davidson was an important stepping stone in Steph Curry’s career, undoubtedly. Bob McKillop helped build the under-the-radar recruit into the star that he is today. He did amazing things for the Wildcats, helping put this school on the map; Davidson probably isn’t in the Atlantic 10 today if Stephen Curry doesn’t bring the Wildcats to the Elite 8 in 2008. But that was almost a decade ago…
As a student and fan of the Davidson Wildcats, I never thought I’d meet so many Golden State fans living in the Charlotte metropolitan area. More often than not, Davidson students and alumni will root for the Warriors because Stephen Curry went to their school 8 years ago. I was in middle school when Steph Curry made his run to the Final Four, and yet, some of my peers are diehard Golden State fans just because of Steph.
I’ve always been a fan of Stephen Curry, like any other Davidson fan or alum, but I was really agitated earlier this year witnessing a home game against Duquesne. Steph was in town for a game against the Hornets, and he was able to make time to visit his alma mater during its home game against the Dukes. As you’d imagine, Davidson fans and students showed out in big numbers, filling up the student section like I’d never seen before. Belk Arena was electric in the first half, and Davidson took a commanding 23 point lead heading into the break.
Then it was Curry time. The celebrated NBA superstar came onto the court to give a halftime speech. The Davidson students soaked it up, and the college proudly named its vibrant student section after #30. But what happened after Steph took a picture with the students and walked off the court? Half of the student section that was just named after him left the game for good. I was hardly able to get a seat for the first half, but after Curry was gone, I was able to move down at least 10 or 15 rows. Hardly anyone cared about the game.
Duquesne came back in the second half and cut the deficit to 6, but the Wildcats were able to fend the Dukes off. Without the masses of students the Wildcats had in the first half, the game felt bland and empty. Stephen Curry was the star of the show, and Davidson basketball was placed on the back burner for these students.
Look. I get it. Davidson didn’t have a great season, and for some students, it’s much more beneficial to study rather than watch the second half of a game against the worst team in the conference. But this is where Davidson students’ loyalty is skewed. Some are fans of Stephen Curry because he went to Davidson, but then they’re hardly fans of Davidson Basketball, which makes no sense at all. Davidson needs to generate more excitement about its basketball program; we’re far from the days when Steph was making a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Yes, Steph Curry went to Davidson, and that’s something that this school can cherish for a long time. But at a certain point, Davidson needs to start getting excited about its current team and stop living in the past. Curry has gone on to do great things in the NBA, but Jack Gibbs has some promising talent at the next level, and Peyton Aldridge is going to be a star for the Wildcats this season. Davidson has the talent to make another run in the NCAA Tournament, but it’s not going to be Steph Curry that gets them there again. As Steph Curry wins another NBA Championship, it’s OK for Davidson fans to celebrate, but at a certain point, consider why you’re a fan of Davidson. Is it because you like the program, or is it because you like sharing the successes of an NBA star?