As a sophomore in 2014, Ryan missed two free throws with 26.1 seconds left in a regional title game at home against Marmion. While it nearly cost the Knights, it also set up his brother to be a hero. After the Cadets tied the game, senior Drew David drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer on a pass from Ryan to lift the Knights to the 63-60 victory and the regional trophy.
And the coach back then? It was Brian Johnson, whose West Aurora squad defeated a Goliath in Waubonsie Valley this year in a regional semifinal before beating Plainfield Central for a regional title.
Coincidentally, Tyler Carlson, who led the Knights with 32 points in that 2014 game, is a part of another big family of top-notch athletes at Kaneland. Trevor will wrap up his senior baseball season (if there is one) this spring, Taylor is an all-conference player in her junior year on the girls soccer team and Troyer is in eighth grade.
Brett, who watched numerous Kaneland games from the stands before entering high school, acknowledged that he felt a bit pressured at times following after the success of his brothers, but that he adapted well to it.
“I rolled with it,” he said. “It’s something to be proud of and something I didn’t need to be worried about. I was a little nervous about it at first, but came to realize it was a blessing.”
Each David was truly a different player for the Knights. Ryan was the lanky one who could slice his way to the hoop. Drew was the short, tough, football guy with the ball in his hands most of the time. Brett called himself “the-fall-in-the-middle one who didn’t want to be short and takes shots.”
“Being the youngest I’ve had the advantage of kind of learning from my brothers so that has helped,” he said. “I kind of sort of felt that I’ve been a part of them but that you build your own path in a sense. But I was cool with it in the sense of keeping the name going and all that. I like the pressure, it makes it fun.”
It’s been an interesting decade of Davids in Knights basketball to say the least, but not one without memorable moments and success. Conference changes, a few ADs, four head coaches, but also mostly winning seasons including three regional titles.
“It was a culture change year because we hadn’t won in a while and got the winning record back on track,” Brett said. “And I don’t think that record is indicative of how good we were in a lot of games. I would’ve loved to win more, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s weird. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years of high school basketball at Kaneland for our parents with a son playing, and now it’s all done.”