Jack Davidson has had one of, if not the most successful careers of any person to don a Wabash College basketball uniform.
Davidson is the all-time leading scorer in Wabash history with 2,464 career points and he and the Little Giants wrapped up a Final Four appearance in the Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament. He also is a two-time First-Team Academic All-American and North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
However, there is one award Davidson has been chasing that he finally received last week — the Jostens Trophy. It is the award for the most outstanding men’s basketball player in Division III.
“It’s an incredible honor for sure considering how many great players there are across the D3 level,” Davidson said. “This was one of my goals coming into the year, but I didn’t quite know if it would be attainable or not. In talks with some of the other guys from D3, they’ve said this is the most talented that they’ve seen at this level ever in terms of many elite players like there are. To see all of the hard work that I’ve put in pay off really means a lot and it’s something that wouldn’t be possible without my teammates and coaches that have helped put me in this position.”
This season, Davidson finished third in the country in scoring at 25.5 points per game and led Division III with 817 total points scored. His career shooting percentages are eye-opening at .486 (706-of-1454) from the field, .456 (323-of-708) from deep and .873 (708-of-811) from the charity stripe.
“It feels like it’s kind of a storybook ending for him,” Wabash coach Kyle Brumett said. “The thing that we’re really proud of is when you know that the greatest honors are so well deserved, it makes it that much more special. What makes Jack such a special person is that he recognizes that his wouldn’t have come without the success of the team. This gives our team also some final recognition that they take pride in.”
The Jostens award also takes academic achievement into account as well as a player’s community service involvement. A description of the award states: ‘The awards focus on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess, and service to one’s surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of ‘Service Above Self’ by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete.”
Davidson posts a 3.68 GPA and has been involved with countless community projects with Wabash including the Montgomery County Special Olympics as part of Wabash’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He also is active with the “Books, Basketball, and Beyond” program which involves the Little Giants meeting with local kindergarten and first-graders to help their reading skills.
“He’s had his hands on so many things on our campus that aren’t basketball related,” Brumett said. “He along with Tyler and Kellen have done such a good job of touching our community and touching Crawfordsville. Jack is a very recognizable person and the piece that goes along with that is people are going to talk a long time about these last five years and getting to watch Jack on the court and the kind of impact he has had in telling the Wabash story.”
The Little Giants and Davidson set so much history this season including their first NCAC title in school history, a 24-game winning streak which is the longest in school history, their first trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament since 1998 as Wabash end their season as the No. 5 ranked team in the country. While Wabash did fall short of it’s ultimate goal of bringing home a national championship, Davidson enjoyed every single second of the historic ride.
“I’ve been able to just really sit back and enjoy the run we went on,” Davidson said. “It’s unique and something that’s very rare with what we were able to accomplish. We were one of the four best teams in all of D3 and we accomplished so much that Wabash College hadn’t been able to accomplish in the past. The path we had to take to even get to the final four, playing the hardest schedule, that made even more rewarding on how we got there. Individual wise, I didn’t come here to be the all-time leading scorer, but to see all of the statistics and accolades, it means a lot because I put so much time into this game.”
Brumett wants people to remember Davidson for how hard he worked and that he was a winner.
“Across all avenues of life, people are looking to take shortcuts to find success,” he said. “Jack has no way taken the easiest path in his life to achieve all that he has. He’s done an unbelievable job of laying the foundation of success for our basketball program and that makes me extremely proud.”
Davidson simply wants to be remembered as a role model and an example for how hard work can pay off. Most importantly, as it has been throughout the course of his entire career, he wants to be known for his team-first mentality.
“That comes before anything else,” he said. “I love hanging out with my guys and just want to be fun to be around. The individual accolades are awesome to have but if someone said ‘I learned my work ethic from him’ or something like that, leaving that kind of impact is bigger than anything and being able to set that kind of example for others down the road.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here