HSE graduate earns NCAA hoops honor


Wabash College senior guard Jack Davidson might have earned the highest accolade.

But the credit has to be shared with his talented teammates and coaches, he said.

“The focus couldn’t always be on me because we had so many guys that could score the ball,” he said.

The 2017 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate earned the Jostens Trophy Award as the NCAA Division III Most Outstanding Men’s Basketball Player for the season. Davidson, who averaged with 25.5 points a game, also led Division III in free throws made with 210 and 3-pointers with 123.

“That award was awesome to get,” Davidson said. “It was one of my goals coming into the season.”

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Davidson helped lead Wabash (28-4) to the semifinals for the NCAA Division III Tournament before losing to Elmhurst University 90-68 March 18 in Fort Wayne. That ended a program-record 24-game winning streak. It was the first time Wabash had reached the semifinals since winning the national championship in 1982.

“It was a dream season for us,” Davidson said. “We knew coming in we had a really talented squad, led by a senior group we had. Coming in we wanted to check some boxes that Wabash hadn’t done in a long time.”

Wabash won the North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season title for the first time since joining in 1999 and also won the conference tournament.

“Once we won the conference tournament, that was a huge step for us,” Davidson said.  “After that we just really wanted to make as deep a run as we could in the NCAA Tournament. We won a lot of tough games on the road. It wasn’t an easy path, but it was rewarding.”

Davidson said playing the semifinals in Fort Wayne was special.

“Even though it wasn’t the result we wanted, it was pretty cool to see all the Wabash fans there and get to experience that,” Davidson said.  “The best thing about this team is, everyone wanted to play for each other. When you have a team that only cares about winning, it makes it a lot of things easy out there. It leads to a lot of team success and individual success.”

Davidson said it was easily his best season.

“Not only the numbers I put up but the wins we had, too,” he said. “We set a program record for wins. On top of that, I put up great shooting numbers.”

Davidson shot a career-best of 53 percent from the field and 48.2 percent from 3-point range. His 90.9 percent from the free throw line was the second-best of his college career. He shot 93.1 percent as a sophomore.

Davidson finished as the Little Giants’ all-time leading scorer with 2,464 points and a 22.4 career scoring average.

“I’m going to try to pursue a professional basketball career overseas,” Davidson said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play professionally and I feel like I have a lot of good basketball ahead of me. I love the game and it’s something I want to pursue why I still can.”