PDA

View Full Version : What made you a Duke fan?



DukieBoy
01-03-2009, 12:42 AM
I figure that this has been discussed many, many times, however I do not recall seeing this thread in the short time I have been a member. This is mainly for stories as to what moment or game or anything that made you want to become a Duke fan. For me, being only 18, I haven't been a Duke fan for very long. However, what I first remember about Duke is the 2001 Championship game, which I vaguely remember. From then on, I watched Duke occasionally, but after the 2004 UCONN Final Four game, I was finally hooked. I have been an avid fan from then on, and facing a tough upcoming decision as I will likely be going to IU for college, but know that I can not give up my unwavering support of Duke. Enough about me though. Let's hear some of your guys stories :D

geraldsneighbor
01-03-2009, 12:52 AM
I'm not much older but, when I was very young, I saw the shot...As I grew older, it was all I followed. I fell in love with the 99 team, and have lived and died with the boys from Durham really my whole life. I attended my first Duke game in 06 when Duke visited Temple, and was able to witness JJ set the ACC scoring mark. I will never forget that. After seeing Duke play in E. Rutherford, 3 times in the Garden, and Philly again since, I will finally be making my trip to Cameron Wednesday, as mentioned earlier.

It really is a way of life that alot of people can't understand who support other programs or follow programs to a lesser extent. Its something I'm proud of everyday. Supporting such a first class program, with the character and integrity that goes with it, coupled with the success Duke has is something I deeply admire.

godukerocks
01-03-2009, 12:56 AM
2nd grade, I came home from eating out, and arrived in time to see the Miracle Minute against Maryland. Kept following the team, they won the championship, and after the Indiania loss the next year, I was extremely disappointed, which meant that I cared, and was a fan. I started learning more about Duke than just the basketball team, which sealed my fanhood.

mgtr
01-03-2009, 03:03 AM
The abilities of individual players -- specifically Laettner, Hurley, Grant Hill, and Battier. Of those, we enjoyed Hurley the most. But the deal was brought home by Jason Williams. From that era on, we haven't missed a game -- TV, internet, or by hook or crook. Sorry that we missed the Dawkins era, but I guess that I was out grubbing for money at that time. Interesting to consider that in the future we will talk about Singler, Scheyer and Henderson in the same way we talk about those earlier guys.
Last year I had a call about renting a property we have for four months during the season. I said "call back later, I am watching a Duke BB game." The people were incensed that I would care more for a BB game than renting to them. As I told them later, it wasn't a BB game, it was a Duke BB game -- their deal was just money, but this was Duke BB.

Richard Berg
01-03-2009, 04:44 AM
I became a Duke fan because I went there and succumbed to peer pressure :)

2nd grade, I came home from eating out, and arrived in time to see the Miracle Minute against Maryland
Ok, I am officially old.

roywhite
01-03-2009, 07:40 AM
You guys think you're old?...

When I was growing up my Dad's best friend had a nephew that played for Duke (Denny Ferguson who was captain of the 1965 team, and passed away a few years ago). I started following Duke Basketball and that was one reason why I applied to Duke.

40+ wonderful years of following the Devils!

DukeWarhead
01-03-2009, 08:15 AM
When I was a kid, we lived at West Point when coach K was the coach.
My father earned his doctorate from Duke....
I watched Johnny D and Tommy Amaker all through the mid-80's - the ACC had so many great players.. I think it was the golden age of ACC basketball for me.
My brother went to High School with Jeff Lebo before he went to UNC, so he cheered for the 'holes and I kept waving the Duke banner.
My best friend from High School went to Duke 90-94. I had some of my greatest times in college visiting the Theta Chi house those years, and was in Durham when Duke beat UNLV. The greatest party I've ever been part of...
Then I went to Duke for my masters and PhD during the Jay Will, Boozer, Dunleavy years - such a great team, with a real killer instinct. (Wish we could get back to that...)
I've just always loved that Duke teams play all-out, 100%. Never take a game off, even when the shots aren't falling. Love that. What was the last time you saw Duke get beat by more than 15 points???? Hardly ever. And that's why I'll always be a Blue Devil... They are what's right about college basketball.

chrishoke
01-03-2009, 08:23 AM
I'm with Roy. I grew up in Durham, son of a 1947 Duke alum, and started going to Duke football and basketball games with my dad in 1960 when I was 6. Forty-eight years later,I have maintained season tickets to both. Both my undergraduate and law school degrees are from UNC, but I used to hitch hike home from Chapel Hill to go to all the Duke games with my dad - I( had it bad. I still have it bad. My wife and I have 5 degrees from UNC between us but we are the biggest Duke fans you will ever meet. I raised my son and daughter like my dad raised me - the right way - the Duke way!:)

Cameron
01-03-2009, 08:31 AM
What was the last time you saw Duke get beat by more than 15 points???? Hardly ever.

That comment peaked my curiosity a bit, so I did some searching on Go Duke stats (the heaven of the internet). The last time we lost a game by 15 points was back on 1-18-2003 at Maryland. The last time we lost a game by more than 15 points was on 2-5-1998 when we lost by 24 at second-ranked North Carolina.

Pretty amazing is our standard of excellence.

KenTankerous
01-03-2009, 08:57 AM
I was born a Kentucky fan. Christian Laettner broke my heart but the 17 point, less than ten minutes to go comeback in '96 exorcised the ghost of Hill to Laettner to heartbreak.

As luck and love would have it, I fell in love with a Duke girl. One of the ways I first flirted with her was to "kidnap" her Duke snowglobe. I even used newsprint to fashion a ransom note and took polaroids of it tied up in a warehouse. Our first Christmas together I scored two bleecher tickets to a Christmas break game @ CIS. Here is a link to the thread about that: (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5977).

Well, having experienced the beauty and passion of CIS, I melted a little and my ladylove turned me on to "Leading with The Heart". I learned more from Coach K's book than four years in business school - granted, I didn't go to Fuqua, but still. I sent an email to Coach K's assistant thanking him and within 48 hours, I received a return email from the man himself. And it wasn't a form email. He addressed specifics from my email. I printed that email and have it on my desk to this day.

Duke basketball is more than just ten kids throwing a ball through a hoop. Duke basketball embodies all that college athletics should be - elite performance to enhance the university experience on the way to a meaningful education.

Now, the next time UofK and Duke meet in the tournament, I'll be behind my Cats all the way. But until that happens, and I'd say I have a year or two before that's going to be a problem, I'm all about the Blue Devils and Coach K.

hudlow
01-03-2009, 09:12 AM
Jim Spanarkel is the reason I'm a Duke fan. He was not the most physically gifted, but one of the most talented and game savvy guards Duke has ever had.

Watching him run the Duke team made me become a fan for life.

ohioguy2
01-03-2009, 09:13 AM
I became a Duke fan when our son became a Duke student. We joined the Iron Dukes, traveled to games and have watched football, men's basketball, baseball, soccer, women's basketball, track/field, and volleyball. Duke has now joined my undergrad school,THE Miami University, in my fandom universe. :D
We have kept this up even after his graduation. (Did not join Iron dukes this year)

camion
01-03-2009, 09:52 AM
Bubas and Krzyzewski,
Marin and Mullins,
Verga and Vacendak,
Banks,
Gminski,
Sparnakel,
Dawkins and Amaker,
King
Hurley and Laettner,
Brand,
Boozer,
J Will,
Battier,
Duhon

And many more.

Delaware
01-03-2009, 10:04 AM
Gene Banks was from West Philly, near where I lived and I saw him play in HS and then when he went to Duke, I was hooked..... of course it's been easy since then to be proud of the quality program that grew into the best in college basketball.

-jk
01-03-2009, 10:13 AM
Nature? Nurture? As always, a tough call.

-jk

Ben63
01-03-2009, 11:06 AM
2nd grade

Well I was in 4th grade for that....

But the game I remember was also against Maryland. Someone please refresh my Duke memory on this one. It was either 2001 or 2002 and my parents had a bunch of people over for a party and everyone there that night was rooting for Maryland (the focus of the party wasn't basketball, but it just happened to be on) and being the rebellious kid I was I rooted for Duke, just for fun. Maryland jumped out to a 22-4 lead, I remember that clear as day. I was being hounded by the 20-25 people there that night. But I sat there holding out hope the this blue team would win and these people would get off my back. Well the Blue Devils did prevail (not sure if this was the Miracle Minute, I'm pretty sure this was a different game) and I stuck with Duke from that night out.

godukerocks
01-03-2009, 11:14 AM
Well I was in 4th grade for that....

But the game I remember was also against Maryland. Someone please refresh my Duke memory on this one. It was either 2001 or 2002 and my parents had a bunch of people over for a party and everyone there that night was rooting for Maryland (the focus of the party wasn't basketball, but it just happened to be on) and being the rebellious kid I was I rooted for Duke, just for fun. Maryland jumped out to a 22-4 lead, I remember that clear as day. I was being hounded by the 20-25 people there that night. But I sat there holding out hope the this blue team would win and these people would get off my back. Well the Blue Devils did prevail (not sure if this was the Miracle Minute, I'm pretty sure this was a different game) and I stuck with Duke from that night out.

Pretty sure this was the Final Four in '01. It still is the largest Final Four comeback in history.

Son of Mojo
01-03-2009, 11:21 AM
I started life as a State fan. Then, in '85 dad took my mom and me to a Blue-White game........done deal. Watching Dawkins and Alarie and Henderson and Amaker up close allowed for me to convert. I was a fairly fairweather fan honestly in the fact that I wouldn't watch every game but watched enough and cheered passionately when I did. I never really got the full impact of the '86 title loss but as I watched more and became a bigger fan and really felt the loss in '89 to an inferior Seton Hall team and round one of unlv, I understood. All of that made the '91 season sooooooooooo good--when people say you need to experience loss before getting the big win I think of all that. I think of the games I watched that we lost and those that I was either too young to experience or wasn't even alive for and appreciate the things that the team has accomplished when they have won.

duke74
01-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Easy -graduated in 1974

Son graduated in '02

No choice (but add to that a sense of pride in the school, its teams and athletes, and its "compass" (generally)- all contributing to my STAYING a fan)

Ben63
01-03-2009, 11:48 AM
Pretty sure this was the Final Four in '01. It still is the largest Final Four comeback in history.

I think you are right.

So that was 2001 and I didn't get to my first Duke game until February 2007 when they played St. John's at MSG. I am going to the game at Boston College this year (oh the perks of being friends with a BC football player). I have never made it to Cameron but I cannot wait until I do, whenever that may be.

darkblue2769
01-03-2009, 12:07 PM
My uncle went to Fuqua, and he was always quick to assert the blue devils "superiority." As a result, he would get me to watch some of the more memorable games (well, today's memorable games) when I was a little too young to really know what I was watching. I vividly remember their tourney games from 2001, when I was 10, and that was the first time I was really excited about Duke myself.

Unfortunately, I went through a period of despair in which I realized, hey, I'm never going to get into Duke! So, being from North Carolina, I turned to the unspeakable, and the UConn/Duke final four game in 2004 was my last as a Duke fan.

So, I was a Carolina "fan" (cringe), but I never could really root for their team, and I still found myself pumping my fist when I saw that Duke had won any game I saw pop up at the bottom of ESPN. The Carolina-Duke games this year were particularly painful, because I wanted to root for Carolina (can't believe I'm saying that) but I couldn't help but want Duke to win (those were some great games in 2005, too). I realized I could never truly give up my Duke fanhood, but for appearances sake, I had to remain a Carolina fan because, let's face it, that was the college I'd most likely be at.

Fast forward to 2008, and I'm looking into colleges (currently a high school senior). Now, my sister goes to Carolina, and for a while it was pretty much assumed that I would go there too. But, I was still looking elsewhere, at least to apply places and have a few more options. I had already decided that Duke was out of the question, because I still didn't think I'd get in, and we couldn't afford it even if I did. But, jokingly, I mentioned Duke one day, and my mom said we could go on a tour. So, I guess the system kind of broke down there. So, we took our tour, and after the guide left, I offhandedly suggested that we check out the, ahem, "athletics facilities." I walked into CIS, and it was completely empty and silent. I'm sure I had this childish look of wonder on my face as I looked around. This was the place I'd seen so often on TV, and I was here! Granted there was no basketball being played, but it was still pretty awesome! At that moment, I knew, it had to be Duke. Go to hell, Carolina, go to hell!

Much to my surprise, I received my early decision acceptance from Duke on December 11th, 2008. Now, I have nothing to hide. Go Duke!

Kimist
01-03-2009, 12:15 PM
The dad (Duke alumnus) of my closest friend had an extra ticket to a game at the original Charlotte Coliseum, the "round one," so I was invited to tag along. Duke was playing UCLA, and proceeded to run them out of the arena. They also did the same thing, in Durham, either the night before or the night after.

The rest is history. It was a real pleasure watching Dawkins play, and to see Spanarkel use his brain as much as his physical skills. I feel honored to have seen Grant Hill and Shane Battier on the court. (And I even saw Fred Lind....who??....in his star performance against unc.) Ok...one more...the halftime score of 7-0 versus unc......yes, a basketball game in Cameron!

Sadly, the game has changed a lot over the years, and the process of watching a four-year player mature is frequently becoming a thing of the past. Somewhere deep inside I feel a Duke athlete should hang around long enough to get a degree before any "retirement" is considered. But then you can figure out from the first paragraph that my perspective may be different from most recent Duke grads.

k

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-03-2009, 12:16 PM
You guys think you're old?...

When I was growing up my Dad's best friend had a nephew that played for Duke (Denny Ferguson who was captain of the 1965 team, and passed away a few years ago). I started following Duke Basketball and that was one reason why I applied to Duke.

40+ wonderful years of following the Devils!

You can count me in the old folks club! I'm a Duke fan by birth. My dad graduated in the class of '33. By the time I could talk, my grandfather had trained me to answer the question, "Who's going to win the ballgame today?" with "DUKE!". I'm told that my first four words were Momma, Daddy, "potetbook," and Duke. Arriving on campus as a freshman felt like coming home. In my heart, I've never left.

jv001
01-03-2009, 12:45 PM
Bubas and Krzyzewski,
Marin and Mullins,
Verga and Vacendak,
Banks,
Gminski,
Sparnakel,
Dawkins and Amaker,
King
Hurley and Laettner,
Brand,
Boozer,
J Will,
Battier,
Duhon

And many more.

Please add;
Howard Hurt..Carroll Youngkin..Doug Kistler..Johnny Frye
Mike Lewis
Heyman
Tate Armstrong
Amaker
Taylor
and still many many more

mehmattski
01-03-2009, 12:47 PM
I came to Duke in the fall of 2002 for the academics, and had some friends who wouldn't shut up about the basketball team. I am a big sports fan but I usually didn't follow college basketball until the NCAA tourney. I went to a couple of the early games that year-- Davidson, Michigan... but the game that hooked me for good was against Georgetown on January 8, 2003. I remember the "Let's Get Hungry" chant before the game, and Coach K's praise for the Crazies after our seven point win.

Dozens of games in Cameron later, my life now has just two seasons: Yankee Season (April to October) and Duke Season (November to April)!

TaiAdmiral
01-03-2009, 12:58 PM
Hmm...I guess I became a Duke fan after watching the 01 championship season. I've always been a fan of gifted shooters, especially great 3 point shooters. Back then, I thought that Mike Dunleavy had the greatest shot in college basketball. Then came JJ Redick. Then...I ended up going here!

Sure, I came for the academics. But of course the basketball was a big plus! And here I am, part of the newest generation of Dukies. Class of 2012!

loran16
01-03-2009, 01:07 PM
Became a Duke fan when my Bro got in and started here in Fall of 98, so my first duke watching was watching Brand-Maggette, Battier Etc.

Then My Sister got in here and entered in fall of 2001. Then I got in here and entered in Fall of 2005.

I think i need to make sure any kids i have go to duke at this rate....my family's been here for 11 straight years.

DukePA
01-03-2009, 01:11 PM
My uncle went to Fuqua, and he was always quick to assert the blue devils "superiority." As a result, he would get me to watch some of the more memorable games (well, today's memorable games) when I was a little too young to really know what I was watching. I vividly remember their tourney games from 2001, when I was 10, and that was the first time I was really excited about Duke myself.

Unfortunately, I went through a period of despair in which I realized, hey, I'm never going to get into Duke! So, being from North Carolina, I turned to the unspeakable, and the UConn/Duke final four game in 2004 was my last as a Duke fan.

So, I was a Carolina "fan" (cringe), but I never could really root for their team, and I still found myself pumping my fist when I saw that Duke had won any game I saw pop up at the bottom of ESPN. The Carolina-Duke games this year were particularly painful, because I wanted to root for Carolina (can't believe I'm saying that) but I couldn't help but want Duke to win (those were some great games in 2005, too). I realized I could never truly give up my Duke fanhood, but for appearances sake, I had to remain a Carolina fan because, let's face it, that was the college I'd most likely be at.

Fast forward to 2008, and I'm looking into colleges (currently a high school senior). Now, my sister goes to Carolina, and for a while it was pretty much assumed that I would go there too. But, I was still looking elsewhere, at least to apply places and have a few more options. I had already decided that Duke was out of the question, because I still didn't think I'd get in, and we couldn't afford it even if I did. But, jokingly, I mentioned Duke one day, and my mom said we could go on a tour. So, I guess the system kind of broke down there. So, we took our tour, and after the guide left, I offhandedly suggested that we check out the, ahem, "athletics facilities." I walked into CIS, and it was completely empty and silent. I'm sure I had this childish look of wonder on my face as I looked around. This was the place I'd seen so often on TV, and I was here! Granted there was no basketball being played, but it was still pretty awesome! At that moment, I knew, it had to be Duke. Go to hell, Carolina, go to hell!

Much to my surprise, I received my early decision acceptance from Duke on December 11th, 2008. Now, I have nothing to hide. Go Duke!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! What a magnificent first post. It gave me chills. Welcome to DBR and please post often.

kmspeaks
01-03-2009, 01:41 PM
When I was about 8 or 9 years old we got a basketball hoop for Christmas. I found a basketball game on TV so I could learn some moves for the driveway. I was particularly impressed by one player, by his energy, defense, hustle, and toughness. I watched thinking I want that guy's team to win.

That guy was Wojo and his team, of course, was Duke. I've been hooked ever since.

merry
01-03-2009, 02:23 PM
I became a Duke fan in January 1974 when I showed up for my freshman year. Before that I was a Maryland fan (grew up in Maryland, sister & bro-in-law and countless friends are Maryland grads) and secondarily an NCSU fan. My bro-in-law was in grad school at State during my high school years and both they and Maryland were extememly good during that era.

When I arrived on campus Bucky Waters had just stepped down as coach and the program was at a low point. I didn't really make an instant transition to Duke fandom. I remember my roommate yelling at me for not being sufficiently supportive while listening to the Duke game at Maryland on the radio. That was a tough one for me because I really adored John Lucas. But suffice it to say that winter I got hooked and never looked back.

Wow, that means I've been a fan for almost 35 crazy years! Go Duke!

ricks68
01-03-2009, 02:29 PM
You can count me in the old folks club! I'm a Duke fan by birth. My dad graduated in the class of '33. By the time I could talk, my grandfather had trained me to answer the question, "Who's going to win the ballgame today?" with "DUKE!". I'm told that my first four words were Momma, Daddy, "potetbook," and Duke. Arriving on campus as a freshman felt like coming home. In my heart, I've never left.

I was in the stands as a student for that Denny Ferguson year, also. So count me in as another old folks Duke fan club member. Hi D in the BD.

ricks

chadlee989
01-03-2009, 02:50 PM
I was 7 years old and had just finished my first year of pee wee basketball and i was hooked. I loved everything about basketball. My brother who I looked up to was ten years older than me and he was a Duke fan. So naturally I took Duke as my team. The first game that i can remember watching was on a small black and white tv that was sitting on top of my parents bigger tv that had went out sometime the week before. The game i watched was Duke and Kentucky and watched the shot go in. I remember it like it was yesterday and how excited i was running around my parents house and recreating the shot on my nurf goal in my room.

CameronBornAndBred
01-03-2009, 03:07 PM
I was a Duke fan by birth, thus my name. Parents both alums and employees, my college didn't have an atletics program, so never a conflict.

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-03-2009, 03:08 PM
I was in the stands as a student for that Denny Ferguson year, also. So count me in as another old folks Duke fan club member. Hi D in the BD.

ricks
There are some fine folks in the old folks club! We welcome all those who are veterans of life as we know it.

The era we were in college was one fraught with the excitement of major changes rippling through society and on the court and playing field. While I recognize that each generation thinks they've had it the best, but by all accounts the sixties were special and unique in the dramatic transitions taking place. One major transition was Duke's prominence in basketball. The area around Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill became a quite hotbed for college basketball after Everett Case arrived at NC State. As Archie used to say, "Those were the days!"

dukebsbll14
01-03-2009, 05:33 PM
OK so rewind to about 6 or 7th grade (I'm currently a hs junior.) I was never really into college sports, all I cared about was the Yankees. My sister was looking at colleges and we decided to take a weekend visit up to Duke. Immediately I fell in love with it. Eventually, she got accepted and I became a supporter of the University.

Regarding Duke Basketball:

I had always known the history of Duke Basketball. The three national championships, Coach K, Kryzewskiville...I only knew of a few players; Laettner, Dawkins, and Redick. I had never really cared about it, never watched a game before. But when my sister got accepted here, that all changed. I started to watch the games on TV and I noticed something-The Crazies. I noticed that every possession of every game their doing something, being the best sixth man in all of college basketball. I wanted to be one of them. I started doing some research on Duke to learn more, and I discovered all the tradition, the history of excellence, etc.

Then in my sister's frosh year, we went up for parents and family weekend. I got the privilege to see an open practice. When I first saw Cameron I was like, "haha yeah so where do they play the games?" Then I walked inside:o
I was completely mesmerized. And it was during Redick/Williams' senior year so I was like, there's Redick/Williams/Dockery/Melchionni! Look at the rafters! It was the coolest, I got chills. Its awflully hard to top walking into Yankee Staduim for the first time, but I think this may have.

Every year I've bugged my sister to get us tickets because I've never seen a game in Cameron live. Well, one night I was bored and bought tickets for the 08-09 Blue-White Scrimmage. I was in section 9 (actually tried to get into student section but they stopped me haha) and when I walked out and saw the Crazies chanting it was even cooler. Once again, I got chills. That night, my sister surprised me with tickets to the Duke/VA Union game in the student section! Well, lets just say watching a Duke game with the Crazies is something that all Duke fans and maybe even all sports fans must do. I hope that that is not my last time but if it is, I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life.

Since then I have been I loyal Duke fan, I have watched every single game on TV since then, I basically own the entire Duke Bookstore and will be applying there next year. I have even tried to incorporate some of the Duke chants/cheers at our hs basketball games (jumping up and down, ohhh ohhh as players leave locker room, waving arms on inbounds, etc) I haven't been very successful b/c all the seniors lead everything (and lets just say its like a Carolina student section now.) However, one time I did get a "Courtney's a girls name" chant going. And our rival school's head coach's name is gary, so we're gunna get a "Sweat Gary sweat" or "Gary needs a hug" chant going cause he does get angry...a lot!

To anyone who is still reading:
I think the real reason I've fallen in love with the university is that you can get the education from the top institution in the nation mixed with the tradition of excellence on the field/court.
GO DUKE!!!!

gadzooks
01-03-2009, 05:54 PM
I grew up a huge football fan, and didn't pay much attention to basketball until I met my husband, who is a Duke alum. I politely watched a couple of men's games with him, and was sort of ho-hum until I saw the women play UConn in February 2002; they lost that game, but I was totally captivated by watching them play, especially Alana Beard. I became a huge fan of her and the women's team from that point on. As I learned more about basketball and really started to appreciate the game, I got into watching the men, too, so now I'm a big fan of both teams. I went to Smith, so there's no conflict athletic-loyalty-wise. :D

BCGroup
01-03-2009, 06:38 PM
I inherited it! My grandfather went to the Rose Bowl when it was played at Duke..he raised my dad to be a Duke fan, who then raised his girls to be fans. Nothing could be better!

chrishoke
01-03-2009, 06:57 PM
I inherited it! My grandfather went to the Rose Bowl when it was played at Duke..he raised my dad to be a Duke fan, who then raised his girls to be fans. Nothing could be better!

You got that right.

SupaDave
01-03-2009, 06:59 PM
I grew up a NC State fan. Born and raised in Durham and I have always loved all things Durham however. Went to Carrington Jr. High with Coach K's daughter in fact.

Two things that sealed it for me...

- Coach K and Dicky V walking Vitale to the podium for his "Don't Give up" speech. For the first time I saw Coach K as more than a coach but a friend.

-The MARVELOUS coaching job that K pulled off after returning from hip surgery. I was then convinced that he was one of the greatest coaches of all time.

devildeac
01-03-2009, 07:07 PM
I was born a Kentucky fan. Christian Laettner broke my heart but the 17 point, less than ten minutes to go comeback in '96 exorcised the ghost of Hill to Laettner to heartbreak.

As luck and love would have it, I fell in love with a Duke girl. One of the ways I first flirted with her was to "kidnap" her Duke snowglobe. I even used newsprint to fashion a ransom note and took polaroids of it tied up in a warehouse. Our first Christmas together I scored two bleecher tickets to a Christmas break game @ CIS. Here is a link to the thread about that: (http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5977).

Well, having experienced the beauty and passion of CIS, I melted a little and my ladylove turned me on to "Leading with The Heart". I learned more from Coach K's book than four years in business school - granted, I didn't go to Fuqua, but still. I sent an email to Coach K's assistant thanking him and within 48 hours, I received a return email from the man himself. And it wasn't a form email. He addressed specifics from my email. I printed that email and have it on my desk to this day.

Duke basketball is more than just ten kids throwing a ball through a hoop. Duke basketball embodies all that college athletics should be - elite performance to enhance the university experience on the way to a meaningful education.

Now, the next time UofK and Duke meet in the tournament, I'll be behind my Cats all the way. But until that happens, and I'd say I have a year or two before that's going to be a problem, I'm all about the Blue Devils and Coach K.

Always enjoyable to read your postings here. This one is extra special. Thanks for sharing.

devildeac
01-03-2009, 07:14 PM
My uncle went to Fuqua, and he was always quick to assert the blue devils "superiority." As a result, he would get me to watch some of the more memorable games (well, today's memorable games) when I was a little too young to really know what I was watching. I vividly remember their tourney games from 2001, when I was 10, and that was the first time I was really excited about Duke myself.

Unfortunately, I went through a period of despair in which I realized, hey, I'm never going to get into Duke! So, being from North Carolina, I turned to the unspeakable, and the UConn/Duke final four game in 2004 was my last as a Duke fan.

So, I was a Carolina "fan" (cringe), but I never could really root for their team, and I still found myself pumping my fist when I saw that Duke had won any game I saw pop up at the bottom of ESPN. The Carolina-Duke games this year were particularly painful, because I wanted to root for Carolina (can't believe I'm saying that) but I couldn't help but want Duke to win (those were some great games in 2005, too). I realized I could never truly give up my Duke fanhood, but for appearances sake, I had to remain a Carolina fan because, let's face it, that was the college I'd most likely be at.

Fast forward to 2008, and I'm looking into colleges (currently a high school senior). Now, my sister goes to Carolina, and for a while it was pretty much assumed that I would go there too. But, I was still looking elsewhere, at least to apply places and have a few more options. I had already decided that Duke was out of the question, because I still didn't think I'd get in, and we couldn't afford it even if I did. But, jokingly, I mentioned Duke one day, and my mom said we could go on a tour. So, I guess the system kind of broke down there. So, we took our tour, and after the guide left, I offhandedly suggested that we check out the, ahem, "athletics facilities." I walked into CIS, and it was completely empty and silent. I'm sure I had this childish look of wonder on my face as I looked around. This was the place I'd seen so often on TV, and I was here! Granted there was no basketball being played, but it was still pretty awesome! At that moment, I knew, it had to be Duke. Go to hell, Carolina, go to hell!

Much to my surprise, I received my early decision acceptance from Duke on December 11th, 2008. Now, I have nothing to hide. Go Duke!

First post, eh? Gonna be really tough to top that one. Congratulations on the ED acceptance. Look forward to you spending four years (or more!) on the DBR.

RainingThrees
01-03-2009, 08:25 PM
Moved from Georgia to North Carolina where my dad needed hospital treatment from Duke. Nothing had worked till he went to Duke and his kidney disease regressed and he was almost normal. From the moment his disease began to recede I knew I was a Duke fan, which was further confirmed when I watched my first Duke game during the reign of JJ and Shelden.

CathyCA
01-03-2009, 09:11 PM
Much to my surprise, I received my early decision acceptance from Duke on December 11th, 2008. Now, I have nothing to hide. Go Duke!


Congratulations!

dukestheheat
01-03-2009, 10:01 PM
Before I came to Duke, I was hanging out with a girl named Claire and she said 'hey, let's go over and see if we can see Duke versus Georgia Tech. You just stand out in line and we can ask for an ID from someone and we can get into the game'.

RIGHT! I said.

This was 1986 (or maybe 1985, I can't quite recall it and I don't want to go look it up right now), and Duke was playing Georgia Tech (with Mark Price) for the ACC Regular Season Championship. I had never been to a game in Cameron. I knew Tech coach Bobby Cremins personally, and I remember him sitting on the GA Tech bench, alone, waiting for his team to come over after warmups, and the Duke students chanting to him 'GRECIAN.....FORMULA!' (he had a mop of white hair) and Cremins LOVED IT! Cremins loved the Cameron crowd.

We did get right in, no problem (hey, I was just following the girl...). I had the time of my life. I was all so surreal to me.

On the last play of the game, Dawkins comes over mid court with the ball and he realizes that Duke is going to win, and he lets out a huge exhale; simultaneous to that, Price, who was guarding him, grimaces as HE realizes that Tech isn't going to win. That was a cool, priceless moment for me, and I think it all came together for me at that time.

I had considered school at Duke but had never really equated that with being a 'fan' of the team, but starting right then, I was hooked.

Never been the same since, and I am proud of it.

and, remember, always, that dukestheheat!

devildeac
01-03-2009, 10:24 PM
Driving up Chapel Drive on a cool, crisp, clear day in early November of my senior year of HS and being admitted the next spring. The subsequent 30+ years have been quite an experience, from meeting my wife in bio class/lab to having two of my children attend during the last several years.

sagegrouse
01-03-2009, 10:30 PM
Here's my story and I'm sticking to it. It was a tale of money, athletics, and false advertising.

I was a smart kid from SC (however, not as smart as I thought), and applying to Duke was an obvious move. I needed financial aid -- a bunch -- and so got involved in the AB Duke program. On the designated weekend in March, I showed up on campus in the midst of a huge snowstorm. The Gothic campus was a true wonderland. Especially since I had never seen snow before.

During that weekend of interviews, sales pitches and standardized tests, I also watched Duke win an NCAA regional semifinal against St. Joe's (58-56) and advance to the regional finals (this was almost 50 years ago).

I did win a scholarship that weekend and the Duke experience led me to turn down comparable blandishments from Ivy League schools without major athletics. That explains the money and athletics part. The false advertising was the snowstorm. Although we had lots of rain, some small snows, and truly impressive ice storms, I never saw a comparable snow during my four years at Duke.

sagegrouse

PumpkinFunk
01-03-2009, 11:07 PM
Much to my surprise, I received my early decision acceptance from Duke on December 11th, 2008. Now, I have nothing to hide. Go Duke!

Congratulations! Glad to have more huge basketball fans coming - we really need them at some of these games.

For me, it was really 99-02. I was a big NBA fan (the Bullets were terrible, but watching the Bulls was just a lot of fun) until then, but not a huge college BB fan until my friends started talking about March Madness. So, I start watching, and see a lot of Duke games. Those teams were just a lot of fun to watch (Elton, Shane, etc.), and so I got hooked. As someone who didn't have family connections (my stepdad is a VTech alum, and for football, I'm all for them... not basketball, though), the only way to get hooked was watching games. I can't say I really watched a lot of games - I missed the Miracle Minute and other stuff, but I watched the tournament games if they were on.

Fast forward to 2006-2007, when I'm starting to apply to college. Coming from a good high school (best in the country), and I'm looking at Duke for academics. 2006, I take my visit and just fall in love with it. I apply and get in, and then the rest is history.

Devil in the Blue Dress
01-03-2009, 11:18 PM
Here's my story and I'm sticking to it. It was a tale of money, athletics, and false advertising.

I was a smart kid from SC (however, not as smart as I thought), and applying to Duke was an obvious move. I needed financial aid -- a bunch -- and so got involved in the AB Duke program. On the designated weekend in March, I showed up on campus in the midst of a huge snowstorm. The Gothic campus was a true wonderland. Especially since I had never seen snow before.

During that weekend of interviews, sales pitches and standardized tests, I also watched Duke win an NCAA regional semifinal against St. Joe's (58-56) and advance to the regional finals (this was almost 50 years ago).

I did win a scholarship that weekend and the Duke experience led me to turn down comparable blandishments from Ivy League schools without major athletics. That explains the money and athletics part. The false advertising was the snowstorm. Although we had lots of rain, some small snows, and truly impressive ice storms, I never saw a comparable snow during my four years at Duke.

sagegrouse
A couple of years after you left for the real world, there was a snow deep enough and icy enough to cancel classes at the end of the week. Those of us living in the confines of the campus saw no conflict in reasoning when fraternities held off campus parties parties that weekend.

One of my friends in the dorm lost her billfold during that time. Once the snow melted she discovered that billfold next to the little hedge which ran along the front sidewalk of Giles. Did it happen when she was coming in from one of those parties held during the snow? Who knows!

Hancock 4 Duke
01-04-2009, 12:21 AM
My Dad and sister went to Duke and I just grew up with it. I just recently went to my first Cameron game and it was awesome. 9F9F9F!

Lavabe
01-04-2009, 05:50 AM
Congrats to darkblue2769!!

Learn to deal with family members who prefer tacky blue. They are still family. Be polite. And oh yeah, get the 9F button!:D

jpfrizzle
01-04-2009, 09:11 AM
In 2002, I was just coming off a bad 2yr relationship with a girl. My good friend has liked Duke since the 80's and while I was visiting him oneday a Duke game was on. I think this was around J.J. Redick's first year at Duke University.
Once I bought my first Duke fan gear, I was in like flynn; I haven't looked back since. I guess I needed something to take my mind off of her, it worked nonetheless.

not much of a story, but you asked.

RelativeWays
01-04-2009, 09:18 AM
Like many kids in the late 70's early 80's, my parents divorced and my mom remarried a Duke alum. My dad was (and still is) an SEC guy hailing from the Florida panhandle, pulling for Bama specifically. Outside of the occasional football game, the SEC didn't get a ton of coverage here in NC. I was more exposed to Duke in the mid 80's since my stepfather would watch all the Duke basketball games. He died of a fluke heart attack in 86 I think. I guess coupled with a bit of survivors guilt and the fact that Duke just felt right, I became a Duke fan, during the 86-87 season so I cut my teeth on the teams with Ferry, Snyder, Phil Henderson, Tommy Amaker etc. I've been a fan ever since and that grew to include the football team as well. I went to a few football games at WW before I ever set foot in Cameron.

I never really considered going to Duke in high school, I was an above average student but I never particularly pushed myself beyond that. Some people believe that when it comes to college fandom, your team loyalty is entirely contingent to your enrollment to that specific university. While I'll agree that Duke alums will have a connection to their teams that I'll never have (and I'm ok with that) I've never agreed with the notion that I should just jettison my loyalty that I'd held for 6 years prior just because I didn't go to that university. Besides, sports at my alma mater was never a huge deal, our homecoming game is a soccer game for chrissakes.

Cdog923
01-04-2009, 09:51 AM
I was 5 when Duke played UNLV in the '90 National Title game. I had never watched College Basketball before, and I turned it on and started rooting for the blue team, mainly because the red team was really cocky and seemed to be running it up on the blue team. The next year, I watched a few more of the blue team's games, and eventually they had a rematch with the red team, and won! From there on, I was hooked. I still remember heading outside and trying to recreate the Capel shot from UNC '95.

mapei
01-04-2009, 10:56 AM
It was the late 80s when my fandom took hold with a passion. That's when I started dating my Duke-alum wife. Her whole family (big basketball fans in general - mother was from Indiana originally, both brothers played on their HS team) were Duke fans and, of course, the teams were very good.

Over time I came to really respect what K's program is all about. For me it all jelled with that 2001 championship team. Shane remains my favorite player to this day.

My basketball roots run deeper, though. Growing up in NC, college basketball was simply a big part of the culture. As a kid I pretty much liked all the Big Four teams and Davidson, probably UNC the best. My parents weren't educated but my father was savvy enough to know that Duke would be a great place for me to go. Alas, we just didn't have the money and financial aid was much harder to come by back in the day. So I applied early admission to UNC and was accepted.

Before matriculating, though, I was offered a debate scholarship to Emory, which I had never considered. Deciding that I would benefit from a change (UNC would have been basically a continuation of high school, socially), I took it. Best decision I ever made, but I digress.

Emory didn't have big-time sports, so my loyalties were up for grabs. Georgetown was the first to claim them, since I went to law school there and stayed in DC. So, to make a long story short, I now root for both teams with equal passion, and so does the wife. We both wanted to like UMCP, too, since it's another local school - and we each did, during Lefty's era, though we didn't know each other yet - but Gary and their obnoxious fans have now made that quite impossible. We now actively root against them, no matter who they are playing. That's the only team that I have that kind of negativity for.

Incidentally, a friend who sits with us at Hoya games feels the same way about UMCP. She actually went there for undergrad, but hates what they have become and now is a passionate Gtown fan who also likes Duke.

The passion with which the rest of the country hates Duke really bothers me. It gets to my head. Go Duke!

UncleBill
01-04-2009, 11:17 AM
My sister was a freshman at Duke when I was in 7th grade, and I went with my parents up for Parent's Weekend, 1978. I fell in love with the school that weekend, the benches, the undergrads having fun on the quad, the whole package. We were at the West Campus bus stop waiting for ride back to East, when I saw a guy wearing USA sweats waiting there, too, standing alone. Somehow I gathered up the nerve to ask him about the sweats. It was Gene Banks, then a sophomore, and he stood there and talked to a skinny, pimply faced long haired white kid for a LONG time (Central buses were not frequent then, either) about his experiences with the USA (Under 20?) Team in Europe that summer. I think we missed two or three East Campus buses during that talk.

Three time High School All-American, ACC Rookie of the Year, and team MVP as a freshman, standing there talking to skinny little me.

By the time the season started a month later I knew the names, heights, weights, majors, hometowns, and scoring averages of every Duke player. I carried a Duke book bag at Junior High, earned the nickname "Duke Boy", and when it came time to apply for college, I only applied to Duke. Mind you, I had Ga Tech, Clemson, and Emory applications mostly filled out when I got the early decision letter, but my heart wasn't in those applications.

So, October, 1978, another Duke fan was created.

dukebsbll14
01-04-2009, 12:04 PM
My sister was a freshman at Duke when I was in 7th grade, and I went with my parents up for Parent's Weekend, 1978. I fell in love with the school that weekend, the benches, the undergrads having fun on the quad, the whole package. We were at the West Campus bus stop waiting for ride back to East...

By the time the season started a month later I knew the names, heights, weights, majors, hometowns, and scoring averages of every Duke player. I carried a Duke book bag at Junior High, earned the nickname "Duke Boy", and when it came time to apply for college, I only applied to Duke. Mind you, I had Ga Tech, Clemson, and Emory applications mostly filled out when I got the early decision letter, but my heart wasn't in those applications.

So, October, 1978, another Duke fan was created.

Thats pretty much the same story with me. Apparently I set the record for wearing my duke blue hoodie for consecutive days. Since then I've gotten a new hoodie (well 3 new ones lol) but I still break out the old faded hoodie on gamedays:) I have also sealed the deal of being the biggest Duke fan at my hs.

My heart lies at Duke but my Parents keep saying, "there are plenty of other good schools out there, if you don't get in you'll be happy somewhere else." Maybe...but I'd rather go to Duke. I keep joking that if I don't get in I'll set up a tent on President Broadhead's lawn until he changes his mind, or calls the cops. My other schools include GT, ND, Purdue, Rice, and Elon. I also went up for Duke's Baseball Camp this summer and it looked like the coaches were impressed with my pitching, so if I'm lucky than maybe I could get the opportunity to play baseball here.

So im hoping that in December or Spring 2010 I get an acceptance letter. Either way, I'll still be a Duke fan for life
GO DUKE!!!

dukemsu
01-04-2009, 01:47 PM
Great Topic. It's fun to know where we all come from.

Growing up in Michigan, my first exposure to Duke came in the 86 Final Four as an eleven year old, when my dad and I watched Alarie, JD, and the freshman Ferry battle Kansas and their hideous red uniforms. I felt bad when Duke lost in the final, and watched with interest as the next Duke team fell gamely to the eventual champion IU the next season. In 88, I watched with glee as Billy King locked up Saginaw product Mark Macon of Temple (I was a Flint kid, and you didn't cheer for Saginaw kids). I was horrified when KU dusted the Devils in the Final Four, as I was hoping that was the year Duke got retribution for the 86 loss.

But it was the 89 regional final that made me a hard core Duke fan, as the now senior Ferry and a brash freshman named Laettner took it to the anoited Alonzo Mourning and took down the mighty Hoyas, effectively ending that era of Hoya Paranoia. I loved the spirit, the guts, and the fun the players seemed to show. I liked the energetic, firey demeanor K exhibited. I followed the Laettner era Devils every day after, and have followed the program daily ever since.

From then on, I was hooked, even through my years of Izzone membership (and before that, the Spartan Spirits in the last days of Jud Heathcote) as an MSU undergrad. The tournament battles between Duke and State are my least favorite days as a hoops fan.

LGD. Just writing this gets me fired up for tonight's game.

DukePA
01-04-2009, 02:40 PM
I became a Duke fan at age 6. My dad had finished his time in the Navy and took a job at Duke's new hyperbaric chamber. We moved to Durham from Virginia Beach and thus began what has been an amazing journey. I distinctly remember sitting in the car in the driveway listening to a Duke-carolina game on the radio with my dad. We had arrived home towards the end of the game and couldn't bring ourselves to run into the house and listen inside.

I knew from the first time I stepped onto campus that I wanted to become a Duke student. I never realized it would take so long, but I was able to follow in dad's footsteps when I began PA school at age 44. I camped out for both graduate professional student campouts. I camped out for both unc games (both of which we lost :(). My family lives and breathes Duke. Whenever something good happens instead of saying, "congratulations," we say, "Go To Hell carolina!"

Namtilal
01-04-2009, 04:04 PM
12/4/93. My first game as a freshman, against Xavier. I was a lifelong Duke bball fan before I even made it into the stadium.

I'm sure this is true of some of you, too, and forgive me for saying it, but I was not a fan of Laettner and Hurley before I got to school. I had no real interest, but I even remember thinking that 7-ft Frankenstein in delicate baby blue who had a bloody nose and blood all over his jersey, Monstrosity was his name or something like that, deserved my rooting over the slick reigning champs in stately dark blue.

One game of that atmosphere and seeing Grant from the second row was all it took to make me a fan. I love sports in general, but Duke bball will always be my favorite team.

(As an added benefit, while in line for the Xavier game, one of my childhood heroes came up and introduced himself to us -- Louis Orr, a star of Syracuse teams from the late 70's/early 80's, and then an asst at XU. I grew up watching him at Manley Field House, before the Dome was built.)

DevilAlumna
01-04-2009, 07:16 PM
Much to my surprise, I received my early decision acceptance from Duke on December 11th, 2008. Now, I have nothing to hide. Go Duke!

Congrats, DarkBlue! I got my early acceptance about the same time of December, just 16 years earlier!

I was born & raised a Nebraska fan; my dad was a big contributor to both football and basketball programs, so I grew up going to the games there. Before the NCAA disallowed such practices, we used to be a "home away from home" for bball players, and I got to hang out with players from the Bill Jackman era. (Nebraska needed him, even if he did start out at Duke.)

I became a fan of Duke University, when I was invited to join Duke TIP. I finally first set foot on campus in 1988, and knew I wanted to attend when I saw the drive up to the Chapel. (It was just a gut feeling thing.)

Bobby Hurley in 1991 was the player responsible for my Duke BBall fandom. He was just an amazing leader, full of heart and drive, and as a die-hard HS jock, his intensity just struck a nerve with me. For more Duke connections prior to arrival, I was an all-Met athlete with Joey Beard, and got to meet Calvin Hill at the award luncheon.

I got in via Early Decision in 1992, and my first season in Cameron was Grant Hill's last. IIRC, his jersey was retired at the Temple game, with Bill Cosby in attendance (Jello Pudding, clap-clap, clap-clap-clap!) Even suffering through the "Coach K missed season" didn't dent my enthusiasm for my Blue Devil hoopsters!

I'm still a Nebraska football fan, but Coach Cut is winning me back to the Duke blue side of the ball. I've managed to convert my mom, but dad is still all "Go Big Red" all the time. We'll win him over one of these days - maybe when Duke wins a bowl game next year! :D

jipops
01-04-2009, 08:57 PM
1st was the innate, natural distaste of all things tarheel blue having grown up in the state of NC. Starting at about the age of 8 I enjoyed the fortunate opportunity of attending games in Cameron Indoor. Having attended games at both Reynolds and later Carmichael it became completely obvious that these places could never measure up. This was even at a time when UNC was the usual national power, NC State was a very strong national presence and would soon win a national title in '83,... and Duke was losing to teams like Wagner.

So to answer the question, it was Cameron that made me a Duke fan. If Duke University is to ever move it's basketball home to another arena, it will completely break my heart.

91.92.01DUKE
01-04-2009, 09:03 PM
The VCU loss.

graybead
01-04-2009, 09:37 PM
I was almost 6 years old and I remember watching the Final Four with Spanarkel, Gminski and Banks. I was watching it with my Dad and I remember a commercial that advertised Duke University. It said something about not only excelling in athletics, but also in academics. I wasn't even in the first grade yet and that still made an impression on me.

I lived in Minot, ND at the time and was delighted when my dad was transferred to Seymour Johnson in Goldsboro, NC when I was 12 years old. I became a die-hard fan shortly after and have been ever since.

I guess I'm getting old now too!:)

BluDevilGal
01-04-2009, 09:54 PM
At age 11, living in NC, I realized that I was going to have to pick a team. Being an 11 year old girl who was just discovering sports, I initially chose Duke because the boy I liked was a Duke fan. But I quickly became an avid Duke fan based on the merits of the team itself.

A couple years later had to endure the 94-95 season with a best friend who was as devoted to Carolina as I was to Duke. Players like Chris Collins, Wojo, and Jeff Capel are near and dear to my heart from those early years of my fandom. (Regardless of how bad my memory is in other things, I can recall ridiculous amounts of information pertaining to the ACC basketball teams of the late 90's.)

There were also lots of youth group trips to Duke growing up, and by the time I was applying to college, Duke certainly felt like home. Honestly, the most exciting part of getting into Duke for me was knowing that I would get to be a Cameron Crazie!

I then had the priviledge of being a Duke student during a national championship and the eras of players like Shane Battier, Jason Williams, and JJ Redick. Not such a bad deal. ;-)

NashvilleDevil
01-04-2009, 09:58 PM
My Dad went to graduate school there and my Mom worked on campus. She was also in attendance at the famous "Amen" game against Maryland. Been a Duke fan since I can remember. I watched them lose to Washington in the '84 tournament and then to Gary Williams and Boston College the next year. The '86 team is still my favorite team and when they lost to Louisville I was one devastated 8 year old. One thing that helped ease the pain was getting Johnny Dawkins' autograph that summer. My Mom always tells me how in awe I was when I met him, #24 is still my favorite Duke player ever.

merry
01-04-2009, 10:36 PM
I was almost 6 years old and I remember watching the Final Four with Spanarkel, Gminski and Banks. I was watching it with my Dad and I remember a commercial that advertised Duke University. It said something about not only excelling in athletics, but also in academics. I wasn't even in the first grade yet and that still made an impression on me.

I lived in Minot, ND at the time and was delighted when my dad was transferred to Seymour Johnson in Goldsboro, NC when I was 12 years old. I became a die-hard fan shortly after and have been ever since.

I guess I'm getting old now too!:)

LOL! So you were 6 during the 1978 Final Four. I was 21 and in grad school and watched that game in the Wilson House commons room. Don't give me this "old" stuff, you so-called "gray" beard :rolleyes:

sagegrouse
01-04-2009, 10:50 PM
Like many kids in the late 70's early 80's, my parents divorced and my mom remarried a Duke alum.

I don't know if the entire sentence is true of "many kids," but what you said is precisely what happened to my step-daughters and their mom.


sagegrouse

bulldog44
01-04-2009, 10:57 PM
I have pretty much been one my entire life. The majority of my family were Tarhole fans, except for my dad. Who converted my mom. I remember growing up among not only Tarholes throughout my family but probably 90% of the people in the town I grew up in. I got in more fights over Duke/Carolina than anything else pretty much. I was once sent to the principals office over a Duke/UNC issue. My homeroom teacher was a uncrap fan and Duke had lost to UNC the night before. Ferry was on the bench and I told my friend I couldn't use that as an excuse because Lebo was out also. My hr teacher said Yeah we woulda beat y'all by 30 if he had played. And I yelled as loud as I could for him to kiss my GUESS :) I met Johnny Dawkins when he played and all I can say is he is as classy as they come. David Henderson grew up just down the road from me, literally, I met him several times. I got to meet Red Wilson too, when I was younger. I used to bartend/bounce/manage at a bar where we had a few Duke players come in from time to time, most never drank and only a few were not exactly humble or nice.

Native
01-04-2009, 11:02 PM
I practically grew up at Duke. When I was very young, both of my parents (UNC alumni) worked. My grandfather is a professor at Duke, and instead of going to daycare, my grandmother and I would always go visit him at the Fuqua School of Business. Thus, my Duke fandom was born. I can remember playing in his office, roaming the hallways of Fuqua into reception rooms where free food lay waiting for MBA's that were still in class.

Through connections at the athletic department and the Iron Dukes, my grandparents hold season basketball tickets at Duke. I am very fortunate to get to come to these games; many kids my age, and even grown adults, would give away many of their possessions to have a guaranteed spot at every home game against UNC.

I can remember falling asleep as a toddler in a packed CIS. Through my grandfather's connections, my brother and I were both able to be Duke ballboys as elementary school age children. I had the time of my life. I met and shot hoops with Chris Duhon and Mike Dunleavy. I played one-on-one with the players. The Cameron Crazies even crowd-surfed me before one game. I can remember attending many ACC championships that Duke won in the late '90's - early '00's. I can remember taking pictures with Wojo as he passed by once. I can remember meeting Coach K. After these experiences, it's almost impossible to not be a Duke fan. Sadly, my brother has become a Carolina fan after knowing students at Crapel Hill. However, my love for Duke has not wavered. I am now the only Duke fan in my household, and proud of it.

Neals384
01-04-2009, 11:11 PM
I've admired Duke basketball for a long, long time, but I really became a fan when Kyle Singler became a Blue Devil. I think there are many new Blue Devil fans here in Southern Oregon, not just me.

Neal

SuperSport
01-04-2009, 11:13 PM
Coach K and how he coaches!

BuschDevil
01-05-2009, 12:58 AM
My darling mother, who graduated from Duke (along with her twin sister) in '46, & worked at Duke for 47 years (retiring in '93)... some of you may remember her as "The Czar of Housing"... & my dear old Dad, "Jarhead" of DBR, (who graduated from Duke in the 50's, as did his brother) raised me & my siblings (Sister, '78... & brother, '82) to be Duke fans, & being such good kids, we did exactly as our parents wanted (as always:D). Thank goodness my parents had not gone to unc, I would have had to rebel against that. My kids are growing up Duke fans as well, as are all of my sibs kids. (Hopefully, some of that generation will attend Duke also) Just keeping the family tradition alive... Go Duke!

Some of my earliest memories are of going to Duke football games at WW in the late 60's with the entire family (& looking for droped change under the bleachers that used to be around the top), watching baseball games when my cousin Craig pitched for Duke in the early 70's (I got to hang out in the dugout), & watching Randy Denton, Gary Melchioni, Paul Fox, & others play for Bucky Waters in CIS. I am very lucky to still be able to attend football games with Jarhead (Thanks, Dad, for 4+ decades of games) & to still be able to attend basketball games with my wonderful mom (Thanks, Mom, likewise).

Mom, by the way, has been going to basketball games since '42, when the old gym was a mere one year old, state of the art facility. Since she does not post here, I'll pass on her story of how she became a Duke fan... ... Growing up in Rutland, VT, during the Depression, you wouldn't think she would have known much about Duke, but her dad was a big sports fan & listened to all the big college games on the radio every Saturday & she would sit there with him & listen, too. The Wallace Wade led teams (esp. the "Iron Dukes") really caught their attention. When it came time to find a college, they toured the south & had to make a stop at Duke. Well, as you can imagine, they fell in love with the place.

Say, Jarhead, share your story!:)

Nesto
01-05-2009, 01:10 AM
Didn't follow college b-ball much before I went to Duke in the fall of 1981. My high school girlfriend said I should look up a friend she grew up with in Kentucky; she had heard he played at Duke - some guy named Vince Taylor. His amazing game in the 1982 triple overtime classic vs. Clemson cemented my fandom by the end of that first school year... despite a 10 win season!

BlueDevilJay
01-05-2009, 08:02 AM
My story for becoming a Duke fan is fairly simple and doesn't take a lot of explaining, but I'll tell y'all anyways. Obviously I didn't attend Duke, although growing up playing basketball in my driveway, I always had this dream that Coach K was going to be driving by, see me out there practicing in the cold weather, rain, sleet, whatever, and think, "We gotta get this kid!". :) Alas he doesn't venture out into the boonies of Yadkinville (Lone Hickory) very often, so it never happened. What lead me to that dream was my dad, who had been a Duke fan since the late 50's/early 60's, bringing me up properly. He was the doting father who had me wearing little Duke shirts when I was a baby, and my first basketball goal, given to me at age 5, was accompanied by a nice Duke basketball. Basically I was brainwashed, and I've been thanking him ever since. My first memories of watching Duke with him (although I've done it my whole life) was during the 85/86 season, I was 9, and Dawkins, Alarie, Bilas (gag), Henderson, Williams, and Amaker were the main players. We lost the title to Louisville and Nervous Pervis Ellison that season, and I remember hearing my dad yelling at Johnny D to "shoot the dang ball!!!" in the 2nd half. That was the first game I cried after Duke lost, so I finally realized I was a fan at that point.

This has brought me a lifetime of memories of watching games with him (to this day he comes to my house for every game to watch in HD, and I've been with him for EVERY big Duke game) and he is pretty hard on the team during the game, sometimes I have to remind him we are up 20 at the time (like last night!) but all in all, I am so glad he raised me the way he did. I couldn't imagine pulling for the lighter shade of blue, and I'm now trying to do the same for my daughter, although I have to fight with her mother who is trying to brainwash her on UK...blech.

twisterduke81
01-05-2009, 08:12 AM
My Dad attended Duke waaay back when the Rose Bowl was held there during WWII. Duke was the only school I applied to out of HS (man was that naive). I was a freshman when Duke played in the championship game of '78 and currently raising my daughters to hate all things light blue. Its in the blood.

Bostondevil
01-05-2009, 08:45 AM
I was born that way, in Duke Hospital.

Hey Nesto, we were classmates at Duke. When I was a kid and people asked what I wanted to do when I grew up the answer was always "Go to Duke". So, I acheived my goals at a relatively young age. I've been looking for new ones ever since. ;)

DU Band Prez 88
01-05-2009, 12:19 PM
I was almost 6 years old and I remember watching the Final Four with Spanarkel, Gminski and Banks. I was watching it with my Dad and I remember a commercial that advertised Duke University. It said something about not only excelling in athletics, but also in academics. I wasn't even in the first grade yet and that still made an impression on me.

I lived in Minot, ND at the time and was delighted when my dad was transferred to Seymour Johnson in Goldsboro, NC when I was 12 years old. I became a die-hard fan shortly after and have been ever since.

I guess I'm getting old now too!:)


The 1978 Final Four was the second one (at age 11) that I remember watching. Our family had moved to Milwaukee, WI, the previous spring about 2 weeks before Marquette won over UNC in the '77 Finals in Al McGuire's last game. The following year, with my interest in the NCAA tournament piqued after Milwaukee went crazy after Marquette's win, I remember pulling for Duke as the team of destiny, although I'd never set foot in the state of North Carolina, and being really bummed that Kentucky won. Even after Duke went through its few "lean" years in Coach K's early tenure, I knew that I wanted to attend Duke and was fortunate to be admitted with the 1984 entering class. Few who were students at that time or who were Duke fans forget the excitement that built up for the University of Washington's visit to Cameron in the fall of 1984, and Duke's win in that game with David Henderson's monster jam. So, to answer the question of the thread, although it was the '78 Final Four that sparked my initial interest in Duke basketball, the Washington game in December(?) 1984 and actually being a student (member of the pep band) in Cameron made things real for me...followed by four great years as an undergrad at nearly every home game & many ACC and NCAA tournament games.

Classof06
01-05-2009, 12:45 PM
My acceptance letter.

My brother and I started watching college basketball around 1990. He was a year older and fell in love with Duke, so naturally, I had to find another team. I was always an Ohio State fan but also rooted for random teams like Arizona and occasionally (gasp!) UNC (I loved Antawn Jamison and Rasheed Wallace). I never hated Duke growing up, but I also didn't particularly like them.

Once I was accepted to Duke and knew I was going there, I figured when in Rome...

mcdukie
01-05-2009, 01:03 PM
I used to hate Duke. Some guys I coached with were huge Duke fans and issued me a challenge that if I went to a practice and didn't like what I saw they would leave me alone. At the time my sister was doing her residency at Duke and I went to hang out with her and watch a practice. To say I was blown away by K is an understatement. He was so humble but hardworking as were the players. The fact that the team (1998-99) was very talented probably didn't hurt but I have been a die hard Dukie ever since.

Magnolia888
01-05-2009, 01:19 PM
I became a Duke fan when I received my acceptance letter.

I had a hard time deciding between Duke and Emory and several of my friends convinced me to choose Duke because it had "big time sports" -- i.e., basketball, while Emory didn't, and they couldn't imagine going to a college that didn't have big time Division I sports. That wasn't the deciding factor, but ultimately it became a big reason why I was glad I chose Duke.

Jfrosh
01-05-2009, 02:10 PM
I matriculated in January of '86 a week before classes started. I had spend the first semester in England so I was pretty much out of the loop. The fact that Duke had a basketball team was not even on my radar. Fortunately one of my Aycock Dorm mates brought me over to Cameron. I saw the most amazing player I had ever seen. He would float to the basket and shoot the lights out. I was hooked from the moment I saw Johnny Dawkins.

aimo
01-05-2009, 03:12 PM
I went to a Duke basketball game two days before I was born.

bdh21
01-05-2009, 03:35 PM
First post, eh? Gonna be really tough to top that one. Congratulations on the ED acceptance. Look forward to you spending four years (or more!) on the DBR.

Ha! My current employer would love it if Dukies stopped reading DBR once they graduated!

Also, congrats on Early Decision and remember it's never too early to start shopping for tents...

darkblue2769
01-05-2009, 10:39 PM
Haha, thanks to everyone who posted congratulations. I was in Durham for the game last night, too, and I can't wait to set up a tent in K-ville next year.... it only gets better from here!

MedfordMike
01-05-2009, 11:51 PM
First, being somewhat of a geezer I long for the good old days. At the "old days" pinnacle was Larry Bird. Something about greatness under pressure always stirs my awe. So fast forward several decades and my daughters were attending South Medford.....yeah that South Medford. So, starting in his freshman year of high school a low buzz started to develop. That only grew with each year. My youngest was a friend of Kyles older sister Katie so that only heightened the buzz. By Kyles senior year the whole town was jazzed as our local media followed South Medford as they first traveled to a noted high school invitational tournament down south and won and capped the season by beating the team they had lost to in Kyles junior year at our state tournament (Lake Oswego and a guy you might have heard of, Kevin Love).

By this time the legend to be was in overdrive. Newspaper articles were quoting scouts as comparing Kyle to Larry Bird. I watched several games and quite frankly high school competition was no competition. I don't know how towns people in "Frenchlick" felt but Medfordites took notice when he was compared to Larry Legend. Well this book is being written and I have watched every Blue Devil's game televised and now I'm hooked not only on Duke but the ACC games in general. While I'm proud of Kyle I'm even more impressed with the drive and hustle all of K's kids are showing. To bad the Dukies couldn't have got Kyles brother EJ too. He's a high school senior headed to the University of Oregon and although he's only 6'6" he's more dominant on the boards than his brother was and will make his impact on college ball too. That's it, just another, but longer, Kyle groupie.

jv001
01-06-2009, 10:12 AM
First, being somewhat of a geezer I long for the good old days. At the "old days" pinnacle was Larry Bird. Something about greatness under pressure always stirs my awe. So fast forward several decades and my daughters were attending South Medford.....yeah that South Medford. So, starting in his freshman year of high school a low buzz started to develop. That only grew with each year. My youngest was a friend of Kyles older sister Katie so that only heightened the buzz. By Kyles senior year the whole town was jazzed as our local media followed South Medford as they first traveled to a noted high school invitational tournament down south and won and capped the season by beating the team they had lost to in Kyles junior year at our state tournament (Lake Oswego and a guy you might have heard of, Kevin Love).

By this time the legend to be was in overdrive. Newspaper articles were quoting scouts as comparing Kyle to Larry Bird. I watched several games and quite frankly high school competition was no competition. I don't know how towns people in "Frenchlick" felt but Medfordites took notice when he was compared to Larry Legend. Well this book is being written and I have watched every Blue Devil's game televised and now I'm hooked not only on Duke but the ACC games in general. While I'm proud of Kyle I'm even more impressed with the drive and hustle all of K's kids are showing. To bad the Dukies couldn't have got Kyles brother EJ too. He's a high school senior headed to the University of Oregon and although he's only 6'6" he's more dominant on the boards than his brother was and will make his impact on college ball too. That's it, just another, but longer, Kyle groupie.

Welcome and we're glad to have Kyle as well. He's going to be one of the Duke greats. Go Duke!