Displaying Its Veteran Savvy, Will to Win Ivy Inn Prevails in Summer Hoops Opener
Bobby Davison acknowledged that Father Time is catching up with him as his Ivy Inn squad started its 2014 campaign last week in the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League.
“Honestly, I never thought I would be one of the oldest guys in the league,” said Davison, a former hoops standout for Princeton High and The College of New Jersey.
“It was like yesterday that I was playing for SMB and now all of a sudden I am 30 and I have been in the league for 15 years.”
It took Ivy Inn a while to get its legs moving last Wednesday in the opener against Northeast Realty stocked with recent PHS alums. Knotted at 31-31 midway through the second half, Ivy pulled away to a 53-44 victory.
“It is never easy as the years go on,” said Davison. “We all have families now and we are not playing nearly as much as we used to. Playing a team like these guys is a very difficult first game for us coming right out of the gate.”
But with age comes savvy and defending league champion Ivy used that quality in overcoming Northeast.
“Arguably, we are the oldest, most experienced team in the league aside from Winberie’s probably,” said Davison, noting that Ivy Inn includes such stalwarts as Shahid Abdul-Karim, Mark Aziz, and Buddy Thomas.
“It is all veteran guys who have won championships, we have managed to keep the nucleus of the team together. Down the stretch you go to the foul line and we make foul shots and that’s what the experience and all that brings.”
Ivy Inn has supplemented that nucleus by adding Sherm Brittingham last year and picking up Greg Ford this summer.
“Last year having Sherm was a huge pickup and immediately we reached out to him again this year; he was excited and more than happy to be part of the team again,” added Davison.
“He just fits what we do, he is a great guy. He is a team player, he plays defense and he’s perfect for the Ivy Inn. I had the opportunity to play with Greg in the Hamilton league and I had so much fun playing with him. I figured this year I would rather play with him than against him. Every year we try to pick up one or two people, this year, it was Greg and I think he is going to be a huge addition to the team.”
In reflecting on his role, Davison is looking to provide some key intangibles for Ivy Inn, which fell 44-40 last Friday to Tortuga’s Mexican Village, the squad featuring the current TCNJ hoops players.
“I don’t get a chance to play as much but as the season progresses my role will increase,” said Davison, an officer with the East Windsor police department.
“I just try to be a leader and help us out on defense. I try to focus all of my attention on the defensive end and then on offense, create shots for the offensive players.”
Davison and his teammates are focused on getting another title this summer. “We have done it a couple of times,” said Davison of Ivy Inn, which has won four crowns in the last six summers.
“It is funny because even when we were running into guys here or there, they were saying we can’t wait to get back out and defend the title. I think it means a lot, guys are excited, they want to come out here and they take pride getting another title and repeating.”