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Personal Reflection on Sports in Davidson

by | Aug 31, 2022

I may seem an unlikely person to be a sports commentator, but a recent conversation started my mind going.

And having been tangential to both college and youth sports for 45 years, and to high school sports through my father, who was a coach, for much longer than that, maybe I do have some expertise.

When we moved to Davidson in 1979, college basketball games were a highlight of the winter months. Games then were held in Johnson Gymnasium, an intimate space with a balcony.  Faculty and staff and their offspring attended games free and sat in the balcony.

We were so close to the floor that we felt really connected to what was going on. We watched the game, visited, the kids played, and it was wonderful. A highlight at each game was watching the Wildcat swing down onto the court from the balcony. It may have been small, but Johnston Gym was home to some of Davidson’s glory days.

We still have this program from the last game played there in 1989. Such uncomplicated fun we had.


Nancy Griffith lived in Davidson from 1979 until 1989. After a career as an archives and special collections librarian, she retired to Davidson in 2015. She has published a number of books and articles on local history, and has just completed a history of the Ada Jenkins Center.

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