Frankie Davidson is a man of few words.
On the court, he rarely shows much in the way of emotion. A thundering dunk may bring a bit of a smirk. A big run on the scoreboard could get Davidson to wave his hands in the air to incite the crowd.
Off the court, he is an introvert. Throughout this season and the run to the 1A state title, media peppered the senior with query after query, hoping for some next-level insight on the stud committed to University of Indianapolis.
It rarely happened.
Davidson is comfortable in his own skin. He is a guy who prioritizes faith and friendship over hoops, despite his dominance in the latter.
He is shy and reticent, letting his skills do the talking.
Boy, did they ever.
Davidson averaged 21.2 points and 11.2 rebounds for the state-champion Braves, both tops on the team. He had a team-high 270 defensive rebounds. He was second on the squad in assists (3.8), third in steals (1.5) and second in blocks (1.3).
All that adds up to make Frankie Davidson, aka “Chubz” the 2018-19 Outside the Huddle Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“For Frankie, faith is the most important thing to him,” said Marc Davidson, both coach and dad. “He has an understanding of where basketball falls. It’s fun and he loves it, but it doesn’t define him.”
Perhaps that is the most frustrating thing to opposing players. While some live and breathe basketball, Frankie treats it almost like a hobby, something that he does to a high degree but does not let it dominate his life. Sure, he puts in the work, with hours and hours alone in a gym putting up shots a big reason for his record-breaking success, but wins and losses do not fester. To Frankie, basketball is a thing, but it is not THE thing.
“I would say I am more of a quiet guy,” Frankie said. “My dad said when he was my age, he was quieter than he is now.
“I just strive for that consistency in life. I stay even keel, not getting too high and keeping things realistic.”
Frankie may not let his emotions run high on the court, but his numbers are through the roof. In the 1A state title victory over Barr-Reeve, Frankie surpassed the all-time career scoring record at Blackhawk Christian. He finished with 1,443 points, 13 better than the former record holder Russell Byrd.
He also broke a pair of Byrd’s single-season records this year – points in a season (636 to Byrd’s 583) and rebounds (335 to Byrd’s 254).
Frankie’s signature move this season became his ability to finish along the baseline. Whether it was shaking a defender with a spin move and dunk or a dribble drive from the three-point line, “Chubz” was nearly unstoppable. Blackhawk Christian opened several games with a dunk from Frankie from the baseline that set the tone for the beatdown that was likely to come from the Braves.
“He has just steadily improved and has been able to add to his game,” Marc Davidson said. “Sophomore year he was a knockdown shooter but was pretty limited offensively off the dribble. He continued to grow and was able to start putting the ball on the floor. This year, he got to the free throw line 150 times, a lot of those coming off the dribble.”
Davidson never shied away from opponents in any matchup. He finished two assists shy of a triple-double in a February victory over Bishop Luers. He dropped 26 points in a hard-fought win over Snider in the same month.
At state, Frankie led all scorers with 20 points and added 12 rebounds.
Despite all those individual accomplishments, when asked what memories stand out from his prep career outside of a state title, Frankie points at no one particular game. In fact, he doesn’t talk about games at all.
“I just think about all the friendships I made,” Frankie said.
Many have wondered why “Chubz” did not pursue a chance in Division I, opting instead to play for Stan Gouard and the Greyhounds of U of I.
“U of Indy felt like the right choice with a great atmosphere all around,” Frankie said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I knew I would play. I didn’t want to go to a higher school and possibly sit the bench for four years.”
Few players could match Frankie on the court this season, regardless of class. It is also nearly impossible to replicate the easygoing approach of the senior, no matter he situation.
Frankie is just different…something he is perfectly content with, as his dad can attest to.
“I don’t think he will ever be super loud on the floor, that’s just not his makeup,” Frankie said. “I just think he became this quiet leader. His will to win that developed really over the past year took his game to the next level.”
The work has been rewarding for Frankie – a state title and some Outside the Huddle hardware.