I can’t tell you how happy I was to see my Duke Blue Devils win their fifth national championship by beating the Wisconsin Badgers 68-63 in the NCAA title game on Monday night.
Yes I did say “My Duke Blue Devils”. How did I become a Duke fan? My Dad was a long time High School basketball Coach that was invited to coach at Larry Brown’s Summer Basketball Camp at Kansas University. So for one week each summer growing up, me and my Dad would spend a week up in Lawrence while he coached and I participated at camp to improve my basketball skills and knowledge of the game in a competitive environment. If you don’t know about basketball camps their staffs are consisted of a variety of coaching perspectives, included the campus coaching staff, other coaches and current & former college basketball players.
One summer in 1986 my Coach for the week was Quin Snyder who at the time was the starting point guard for the Duke Blue Devils. At my age and being from Kansas I had never heard of Duke, but I thought he was the coolest guy and wanted to watch him play the next time his game was on TV.
That next season I watched every Duke game that was on National TV and have been a fan ever since. My Dad would also watch the games with me and cheer them on because both him and Coach K are from Chicago.
Duke basketball became me and my father thing, it was our bonding. Some go camping, fishing or fix cars together, our was Duke Basketball. Over the years Duke has logged several ACC tournament and season championships, Final Fours and NCAA Titles. And during those years, we would all sit, cheer, and pull for Duke.
Eventually my whole family would become Cameron Crazies. Even 30 years later we are still Duke fans, it’s what we do.
Isn’t it funny how we make decisions about which sports teams to follow?