Declaring War on Mediocrity
Davidson Head Basketball Coach, Bob McKillop, recently told a group of diehard Wildcat fans that his team is “daring to be great. . .we are declaring war on mediocrity.”
The discussion came several days before the Wildcats headed off on “Eurotrip 2017.”
Davidson’s basketball trip to Slovenia and Italy, which runs August 6-18, includes stops in Slovenia (Piran, Ljubljana, Domzale) and Italy (Treviso, Vicenza, Bormio, Sondrio and Milan). During the Cats’ 13-day tour, they will play several exhibition games, as well as fit in a little bit of sightseeing.
McKillop highlighted that his players are student-athletes. While more than 70 percent of Davidson students participate in some sort of international programs, his players don’t have that chance. Given the varsity basketball schedule, this trip is one of the only opportunities for foreign travel for his players. He said, “this is a mini semester abroad for our guys.”
McKillop joined nearly one hundred members of the Fast Break Club, following an afternoon clinic and an end-of-summer “Red & Black” scrimmage. Before wrapping up the event, he took questions from the crowd.
One of the first questions was about the new coach who had joined the roster. Before talking about the new guy, McKillop took the opportunity to talk about his role in mentoring coaches. With a look of great accomplishment, he rattled off the names of former assistant coaches now serving in head coaching jobs. “I coach the coach. My job is to get them head coaching positions.”
The new assistant coach is Kevin Kuwik. McKillop not only highlighted his basketball resume, but commented on Kuwik’s academic and personal resume, as well. The Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude mechanical engineering major was president of the Notre Dame student body and was a distinguished military graduate of the ROTC program in 1996. An Iraq War veteran, Kuwik was an assistant coach at Dayton, which prompted McKillop to say “we got a guy who is well-versed in basketball, plus he knows every secret about every team in the A-10.”
Four freshman players join the Wildcat roster this fall, and McKillop took a moment to talk about each of them. Bates Jones (Charlotte Latin), Kellan Grady (Northfield-Mount Hermon, Massachusetts), Carter Collins (East Chapel Hill), Luke Frampton (Poca High School, West Virginia). Asked what the addition of these freshmen means to the rotation, given the number and talent of his returning players, McKillop replied, “If we turn potential into production, the rotation will be rather extensive.”
McKillop spoke a bit about the upcoming schedule, highlighting the Cats trip to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Since the tournament takes place over Christmas, the coaching staff has made sure that the players and their families have known about it well in advance. Evidently, the idea of spending Christmas in Hawaii has been well received. When asked about the rest of the 2017-18 schedule, McKillop enjoyed telling some of the stories surrounding the challenges of filling out the remainder of the Cats’ schedule. He summed it up by saying “nobody wants to play us.”
While we wait for the basketball season to come to town, the fall sports teams have already returned to campus and are hitting the practice fields.
Jane Campbell, U.S. Navy, Capt. ret., grew up in a military family and lived around the globe before graduating from Davidson College with a degree in Political Science. During a 25-year career in the Navy, she served aboard three different ships and held a variety of shore-based assignments. She was stationed on the East and West coasts, as well as overseas. She had tours at the Pentagon and the White House, and volunteered for a deployment to Afghanistan. She moved to Davidson in late 2014 and has become involved in a variety of volunteer activities with college, church, and community. She serves as a photographer and Sports Editor for News of Davidson.