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Weaving His Way to the Top

Junior David Weaver Lands on His Feet at Lavietes Pavilion

By Shaunna D. Jones

David Weaver knows a lot about Melrose Place for a guy who eats, sleeps and breathes basketball.

"He's brought that basketball dialogue to the bus, to the locker room, to the court," Coach Frank Sullivan says.

However, on Monday nights, he is almost equally excited about the exploits of the beautifully shallow people on the Fox show. This is just one of the incongruities of David Weaver. He might seem to have a one-track mind, but there's a lot going on.

This is the junior forward/guard's first year with the Harvard men's basketball team and his first year at Harvard. Though he has found his niche with this program, he had to try out a couple of different schools before he found happiness.

Born and raised in Palo Alto, California, it was assumed that he would go to Stanford University. He says that it's a long story about why he didn't go there, but that he basically just wanted to get away from home. So, he headed off to Princeton University, because he wanted to play Division I basketball. It was there that he acquired a negative attitude about Ivy League Schools.

"The program didn't live up to what I was hoping it would be," Weaver says.

However, he had been playing basketball since being an extraordinarily tall fourth grader, and except for a short stint as a wide receiver on his high school football team, he didn't really want to do anything else.

"The football games were more fun, but the practices were horrible," Weaver says.

He then transferred to West Valley Community College in California, where his team lost in the state championships, after a phenomenal 32-3 season. David was content being part of such a great team, even though he didn't start.

Then, unfortunately, he broke his foot twice last year and had to face the possibility of never playing again. He started thinking about the future.

Princeton had "turned him off" to the more prestigious schools; however, when assistant coach Kevin O'Ryan started recruiting him last year for Harvard, he couldn't resist.

"I succumbed to the lure of the Harvard name," Weaver says.

David claims that he finally realized the importance of a quality resume. However, there's not time for many extracurricular activities; he eats, sleeps, studies and plays ball. Off the court, he is concentrating in sociology. David Weaver wants to coach, but he doesn't worry about sociology translating into real life, For him, it's more an area of interest.

"At least, I'll learn something I like to learn about," Weaver says.

Weaver is enjoying learning about sociology, but it is pretty clear from his performance on the court that he's already learned a lot about basketball. Sporting the number 25, David is averaging eight points a game, four rebounds, 1.5 assists and the same number of steals.

Even without starting, he averages 22 minutes a game. That's understandable, because his coach and teammates all say that he is a big bundle of energy. David agrees.

"I feel as though I've brought a lot of energy to the team," Weaver says, "and a lot of differences from past years."

"He's definitely added something to the team," senior Mike Gilmore says. "He keeps the team loose, and he's made me enjoy basketball again."

Coming from two previous winning traditions, it is beartening for the Crimson to do well David's first year. The Crimson is 10-5 (Ivy 3-1). David realizes that the Crimson is struggling to overcome some pretty disappointing seasons, but he displays remarkable confidence for himself and his teammates.

On the upcoming February 9 game against Princeton, there will be no divided loyalties for David Weaver. He has completely integrated into the Harvard basketball team.

"It's kind of amazing how he has adapted to the team," captain Darren Rankin. "And I guess the team has adapted to him."

"David is definitely a key element to our team this year," freshman Tim Hill says. "He brings added toughness, good quickness, and a very good perimeter game."

More importantly than any speedy moves on the court, David Weaver is regarded as a "character" with a genuinely great personality. The term "basketball nut" was also mentioned in connection with him.

"He has a unique zest for the game that is contagious for the rest of the team," Coach Sullivan says.

Weaver is frequently teased about where he will be headed next year, as he is known to move around. However, he is quick to assure both his teammates and the rest of the Harvard community that he is here to stay.

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