DURHAM – Hardly a single day has gone by when I haven’t thought about how lucky I was to have followed Duke all the way to Indianapolis where they, of course, won the 2010 national championship. It was a magical season and, for me, it was almost surreal seeing the whole scene up close and personal. David Bradley runs Duke Blue Planet, the team’s official website, and he was there every step of the way alongside me with one exception. As great as my access was, Dave’s was better, for he was truly on the inside. Every time I turned around Bradley was documenting every team move, coaches and all. This allowed him to produce a new book commemorating the championship, called “Worthy Champions.” The Sports Illustrated Special Edition was pretty cool but other offerings were not that impressive, which led me to wonder why someone didn’t put out a really good edition, full of illustrations, from, again, a truly magical season. As it turns out, Bradley had been working on doing just that. The end product is a success and a must for Duke fans of all ages. Want to relive that championship run? Then check out this book and read on as BDN chatted with Bradley about the finished product and where you can purchase a copy.
Give a general background on how the project got started?
Basically I was working on the next issue of Blue Planet magazine and realized the 2010 team was too good of a story to do just one issue. I had so many photos and content from the tourney run and throughout the year. Obviously Sports Illustrated and a few other media outlets put something out there, but I wanted to do something that really captured the essence of the 2010 team and their unique journey. I banged out the 212 pages and showed our internal staff here. They were on board and I got some great feedback from Coach and Mrs. K and we went from there.
Can you talk about the layout and what readers can expect from the book?
It has a different feel than a traditional book because I wanted to take advantage of the access and relationships I have, and I knew that people would be more interested in hearing the story from the players and coaches as opposed to just me. I was lucky that everyone I asked to help and contribute was more than willing. As a result, the book has contributions and articles from the entire starting five, Coach Collins, Coach Wojo, Jay Bilas, Chris Carrawell, Jamie Spatola, Debbie Savarino, Eric Skeffington (our senior manager), Zach White (diehard Cameron Crazie), and even the Blue Devil. So the story of the 2010 team is told by individuals who lived it, loved it and were excited to share their memories and thoughts.
Yeah – I saw that Kyle Singler had some art in there too…
For the book, Kyle designed the inside cover, a Crazies graphic, an ACC champs graphic, and wrote the foreword. The 17-0 logo he made on Senior Night is also in there. Kyle really has a creative mind and enjoys playing around on Photoshop even when it’s not for a class project. It’s pretty cool to see him merge his passion for basketball and art in a publication dedicated to a season that Duke fans will never forget. And, obviously, I really appreciate his skills and willingness to contribute.
What’s the story behind the title?
Coach K talks often about being a deserving winner and paying the price to become a worthy champion. That means competing every day, representing Duke at the highest level and taking pride in the name on the front of the jersey. I am not sure people realize just how much these guys went through, especially our veterans, behind the scenes working extraordinarily hard. When April 5th, 2010 rolled around, our team was absolutely deserving of what happened next. They were “worthy champions” without a doubt.
This is an extensive book — how long did it take to put everything together?
Well, I started about a week after we won the whole thing and I finished in mid-August. In that time period, I worked on it every day and there were some late nights involved in addition to some text messages from my mom suggesting I sleep more. However, the team was such a joy to be around from the jump and I had a blast reliving the year on a daily basis. Our players and coaches invested so much and the team gave Duke everything they had, bringing so much positive emotion to our entire community and fans all over the world. Hopefully the book reflects that, and our fans will be proud to leave it on their coffee tables for awhile.
Where can fans find this book?
It’s for sale exclusively by Duke Stores online and at the Duke Bookstore.
You can buy it here: Worth Champions at Duke Stores Online
And if you want to browse the online version first, visit the book’s website at