Pride in Basketball

October 1, 2010

I suppose periodically you receive letters like the following; perhaps it is time for another.

My time at Duke in the early ’50s is unabashedly dated: multiple big bands; bowl games (!); “preppy” dress; the nation’s unquestioned best athlete, Dick Groat [’53]; apprehension about the Korean War; etc.

Facing our mortality—and with perhaps the benefit of age-imputed perspective—our group might suggest that many at Duke may undervalue the enormous pride and affection we old grads attach to our athletic teams. The national-champion men’s basketball team and its coaching staff are shining examples of that pride and affection. Their collective character, carriage, and literateness cast a long, proud shadow on the nation’s collegiate landscape. In a number of significant ways, their words and deeds give priceless joy to those of us watching from afar.

Please do not underestimate the balance, talent, and potential contribution to society these fine young student-athletes promise. We’re so proud of them!



W. Rowe Fesperman ’54
  |  Paoli, Pennsylvania