At every home men's basketball game, one can't help but notice the eruption of wildcat pride coming from the student section behind the opposing team's bench. That eruption is a group of students that has become known as "D-Block."
"We're basically an extension of the student section," said D-Block Member Tim Hines '15. "We love getting everyone pumped up for the games and leading the student body in Davidson cheers to motivate the basketball guys."
D-Block, composed primarily of members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and football players, has many traditions that keep their love for Davidson basketball alive. Prior to the games, they suit up in custom-made D-Block attire and costumes, including sailor and Barney outfits. "The guys choose their outfits based on how the spirit moves them that night, and it's just a funny thing that the crowd can appreciate," said Hines.
Then they march up to Baker Sports Complex as a group and pause outside of the building for a motivational speech by a senior member. They sing and chant as they enter Baker, and once seated, the cheers begin.
The foundation for D-Block was laid in 2003 when Ricky Dimon '06 lived in the basement of Richardson Dorm with Matt McKillop '06 and Brendan Winters '06.
"Because we lived with them, we got really into basketball and began sitting in the Cat Pack section behind the basketball goal our freshman year," said Dimon. Beginning sophomore year, their friend Preston Moore '06, a football player and member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, worked in the ticket office and was able to distribute tickets to them in row D behind the opposing team's bench.
"It became pretty big by junior year, and so we felt like we needed a name. D-Block made sense because we had started sitting in row D," explained Dimon. By senior year, they made the section more official with custom D-Block t-shirts designed by Mark Clayton '06.
"That's when people started really getting into it," said Dimon. "We knew D-Block had arrived on the Davidson map in the spring of 2006 when Coach McKillop brought pizza to our pre-game gathering at the senior apartments."
By the time Dimon and his D-Block classmates graduated, they had recruited a core group of underclassmen that would carry on the tradition. The founders occasionally return to campus for games.
Dimon said, "We're always excited to see how big it is today and how it continues to grow."
Hines said one of the highlights of his time with D-Block was when Stephen Curry started following Phi Delta Theta on Twitter after the Dayton game. "That's probably the biggest game I've been to at Davidson and it was just amazing to see the whole crowd go wild when we won and react on social media," he said.
As a former football player, Hines said that he feels there's nothing more important than support. "Davidson is a tough school and I think D-Block helps promote student involvement and enthusiasm at basketball games, and having that motivation makes a huge difference for players."