‘One day at a time’: Davidson Hubbard leaves it all out on the court

Published 12:08 am Saturday, January 13, 2024

HAMPDEN SYDNEY – Everybody knows Davidson Hubbard is getting the ball and looking to score. That’s something teammates, coaches and opponents can all agree on. The 6’5” forward has been a driving force for Hampden-Sydney College this season, hitting career highs in points and rebounds while getting national awards. But the hardest thing for opponents is the fact yes, they know he’s getting the ball. They just can’t seem to stop him from scoring. 

“Davidson Hubbard, he’s our go-to guy,” Hampden-Sydney Head Coach Caleb Kimbrough said. “He knows that, the guys know that, the other team knows that. And he still goes out and gives it all every night on both ends of the court.” 

That was on display Dec. 19, when Hubbard scored a career high 31 points on 12-23 shooting, as the Tigers beat then-No.1 John Carroll. In games since then, against Salisbury and Washington & Lee, fans watched as he led the team to home and road wins, keeping their 12-1 record intact. 

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But for Hubbard, one key factor helping both his success and his team is a piece that’s almost a throwback to older times. Instead of the situation at some schools, where players suit up for a year and then transfer, the majority of this Hampden-Sydney team have been together for their entire collegiate career. That’s paying off now, Hubbard says. 

“That’s what’s elevated our team, having nine or ten upperclassmen that’s been here for four years,” Hubbard said. “We’ve been building that chemistry.” 

And, he argues, it’s not just about knowing how each other plays. This current 13-1 season was built off players who are willing to sacrifice for each other. 

“We have so many good players,” Hubbard said. “Some of these guys could play at other schools and be the guy, but they have no problem passing up a contested shot for an open teammate.” 

Team, Individual Awards given

And it’s a method that’s produced success across the board. Hampden-Sydney is 13-1 overall, 5-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). And Hubbard himself has received praise for his play, winning both the ODAC Player of the Week award on Jan. 2 and the United States Basketball Writers Association Division III Player of the Week award one day later. 

Part of this is driven by work left undone, if you ask Hubbard or any of the coaching staff. He was one of the players here last year, when the Tigers made it to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. But after losing that second-round game to Christopher Newport University, Hubbard and his teammates felt like there was some unfinished business. 

“We definitely felt we could have gone further last year,” Hubbard said. “Now, we go into every game like we have something to prove, I feel like. They can put a number by our name, but we go into every game the same way, that we know we’re the best team whether we have that No. 1 by our name or not. It kinda gives us a chip on our shoulder and a certain mindset. 

As someone who’s watched Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant during their NBA careers, Hubbard’s seen the benefits of hard work and dedication to his sport. He’s also learned to just take things one step, one day at a time. 

“We have one goal in mind and that’s to win championships,” Hubbard said. “We focus on one day at a time, and every day getting 1% better. You can’t look at the tournament, one month, two months from now. That’s too far ahead. The team we are two months from now is going to be different than the team we are now.” 

Up next for Davidson Hubbard

Coming up next for Davidson Hubbard and his teammates is a visit from Eastern Mennonite University. The game is set for Saturday, Jan. 13, beginning at 2 p.m. at Kirby Field House.