Local News

Duke's Battier Discusses Life On, Off The Basketball Court

Posted March 7, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— On the court, Duke senior forward Shane Battier is larger than life -- the latest Duke basketball hero, but once he slips into the Quad or even the tent city of Krzyzewskiville, he becomes just another good student pursuing a Duke degree.

Battier says he enjoys the interaction whether it is in class or playing basketball with a fellow student.

"It's really special and that is one of the reasons that I came to Duke -- for that family-like feel," he says. "The same students who are saying, 'Who's your daddy, Battier,' are the same students who are sitting beside me at my history class on Monday morning."

Battier, head of the NCAA's Student Basketball Council, has set his sights high. He wants colleges to share their basketball riches.

"People are quick to say, 'Oh, we can't pay the players.' We are talking about creative ways where we can take a lot of stress off of the players' minds," he says. "Maybe flying in a family member once in a while to see a game or paying for a ticket to go home for Christmas to spend time with their family."

A candidate for National Player of the Year, Battier takes his basketball seriously. A religion major, he also takes his studies seriously. The two subjects come together when Battier does interviews with the media. He is the only player in ACC history to draw from Buddhism when discussing basketball.

"To take a passage from Buddhism -- karma, I am a believer in karma and the basketball gods," he says. "If you play the game right and respect the games, respect your opponent and respect yourself, good things are bound to happen to you."

His principle of karma worked for him in one case. Duke University retired his No. 31 jersey.