By: Andrew Smith
The winter sports season is almost upon us. Adelphi athletes have been fine-tuning their skills and mindset and some have even begun playing in preseason or scrimmage games. David Duke, head coach of men’s basketball, is preparing his team for another successful season.
Duke is entering his ninth season at Adelphi. He has coached for eight seasons since the 2020-2021 season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before becoming a Panther, Duke began his professional career at Hofstra University as a graduate assistant for two seasons. He was then promoted to assistant coach, a position which he held for 10 years. Following his time there, Duke worked at Fordham University where he was the associate head coach for four years.
Duke credited his education on how he gained the valuable background knowledge he needed to be a successful coach. “I went to SUNY Albany. I learned from being around the game, reading books, speaking with coaches and watching a lot of games,” he said.
The AU coach reflected on what important figure played a role in his development as a coach. He said it was Jay Wright, who was the head coach of Villanova University from 2001-2022, who was responsible for giving him his first coaching opportunity.
In addition, family played a powerful role in Duke’s professional career.
“My family has been incredibly supportive,” he said. “They have always been a sounding board, and I know I can always count on them. I appreciate all the love and support throughout the years.”
The coach also reflected on his favorite moments during his career as an Adelphi Panther.
“My two favorite memories are walking out to the CRS [Center for Recreation and Sports] court before competing for our twentieth win and seeing the CRS packed. It was a `sold out’ game, T-shirts were handed out at the door. It was a great college basketball atmosphere.”
Regarding this season, Duke said there are eight new team members and he has high expectations for them academically.
“We had the highest team GPA in the NE10 Conference for men’s basketball and expect us to continue to thrive academically,” he said. “My expectations from this perspective are to get better and more experienced every day, while competing with maximum effort every time we step on the court.”
In addition to their academic ranking, the men’s basketball team has demonstrated that they are just as committed in the classroom as they are on the court.
“The offseason depends if it is preseason or postseason and the amount of experience on the roster,” Duke said. “We have a lot of new student athletes this year so we spent a lot of time this preseason working on the fundamentals of the program’s offensive and defensive philosophies.”
Lastly, Duke wanted to share some thoughts with the student body. “It would be great to have the Adelphi community come out to the CRS for our games. We have terrific fans and it takes us to another level when the CRS is rocking. I hope to see everybody there.”