Scaling “Mt. Zion”: A Duke University Tour
Anton Roxas on Feb 15, 2019 03:20 PM
Anton Roxas got to visit Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the Duke University Blue Devils.
Christian Laettner. Grant Hill. JJ Redick. Kyrie Irving. These are just a few of the most successful athletes who have once walked through the majestic stone buildings of the famed Duke University.
Nowadays, the biggest name on campus is Zion Williamson. I had a rare opportunity to explore Durham thanks to my colleague, TJ Manotoc who was on an assignment to interview Hernando Planells, the Associate Head Coach of the Duke women’s basketball team. Planells is part Filipino as his mother hails from Cagayan de Oro City. And like every Filipino, he welcomed TJ and myself to Duke with open arms. We knew we were in for a treat. But, at the back of mind, I was hoping for a chance to get a glimpse of the projected number one overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.
The buildings looked like they came straight out of a painting. In fact, I would have never guessed that Cameron Indoor Stadium was the home of the school’s basketball teams.
Right next to it is a site called, “Krzyzewskiville” named after legendary men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Here, students camp out for tickets to watch the Blue Devils. They literally camp out for weeks using tents and even ask for donations for cold medicine. I was taken aback to see how passionate the students were about basketball.
Duke is also very proud of its heritage and winning tradition. They have the Duke Basketball Museum which houses all the team’s trophies, retired jerseys and other kinds of memorabilia.
Another magnificent structure is the Duke Chapel. It is a major landmark of the university as it is located at the center of the school. It can seat about 1,800 people and is the tallest building in the Durham campus.
Located in front of the chapel is the statue of the late James Buchanan Duke, a tobacco and electric power industrialist and the son of Washington Duke, to whom the school is named after. The elder Duke fought in the American Civil War.
Upon completing the tour, Planells took us inside the Indoor Cameron Stadium which is also known as “Coach K Court”. There, TJ conducted his one-on-one interview while I looked around the facility.
As I was walking around the halls of Duke, I noticed one particular school logo that presented the values to which its sports teams stand for: Education, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, Sportsmanship, Commitment, Loyalty, Accountability, and Excellence.
We did not see Zion Williamson. But, by taking this campus tour, we feel like we got to know him and we know that in the coming years, we will see a lot of him on the internet, television and any form of media. We anticipate that he will be everywhere. Wherever he goes, he will carry the values of Duke University on his broad shoulders.