Former Basketball All-American Returns to GCU as Doctoral Learner

July 23, 2012

By Doug Carroll

GCU News Bureau

 

The first time around, Grand Canyon found David Everett.

This time, he found GCU. 

Everett has been something of a celebrity at this week's College of Doctoral Studies residency at the Pointe Hilton at Squaw Peak. The reason: He's a link to GCU's storied athletic past - and a distinguished one.

David Everett played on the 1974-75 national championship team at GCU -- a team that helped put the school on the map. Everett, now 59, was a star on the men's basketball team that went 30-3 and won the NAIA national championship in 1974-75. The title was the first of three over a 13-year period for the Antelopes, and it helped put the school on the map. Everett was an All-American in 1975-76 as a senior.

Head Coach Ben Lindsey had discovered Everett, of Rochester, N.Y., through a scouting service. Grand Canyon - then Grand Canyon College - was one of four schools to offer a full scholarship.

"I watched Westerns with my father and always wanted to go to Arizona," Everett says. "I had never been, but I always wanted to."

After his playing days, which included tryouts with the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns and a stint in the Continental Basketball Association, Everett settled into a career in education in the Rochester area. He taught fifth and sixth grades; he earned a master's degree in early childhood development; and he was a director of three day-care centers.

Seeking another challenge, he began scouring the Internet for a suitable doctoral program, and you can guess which school turned up.

With the assistance of Enrollment Counselor Aaron Haynes, Everett enrolled with GCU and says he is "a little over halfway" to a doctorate in organizational leadership with a K-12 emphasis.

"My life's work isn't complete," he says. "I want to teach on the junior-college level or at a four-year university, sharing my ideas with student teachers. There's a disconnect, and I don't think many of them take the profession as seriously as they should."

That will be the subject of his dissertation, he says, and perhaps even a book or two. For now, he's enjoying the renewal of ties with GCU. His best friend from the championship team, Rodney Hightower, lives and works in Phoenix and the two plan to get together during Everett's stay.

"We were a team, and I love my boys to this day," Everett says of his ex-teammates, adding that he stays in touch with several of them. "We also won the sportsmanship award the year we won the tournament, and nobody ever does that.

"Coach Lindsey helped me grow up out here. I was an 18-year-old kid and he helped make me realize I had a responsibility to myself and to the college. He never gave up on me, and when I was injured he still kept my spirits up."

Everett, who looks as if he still could play, stays close to basketball by running a camp and officiating high school games.

He has seen the recent transformation of campus, and he can't believe his eyes. Heck, he never got to play in South Gym, much less GCU Arena.
A painting of Everett being carried off the floor by his teammates after GCU's NAIA championship hangs on the second floor of the Kaibab Enrollment Center on campus.

"When I played, the gym at Brophy High School was bigger than ours," he says. "I guess I provided part of the foundation to get this started. I didn't think Grand Canyon College could do all of this. I can't get over the Arena.

"We've got to let people know about this school. We need to let it be known that this is a good place for higher learning. I'm proud of my school. We won that championship, and everything changed."

Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or doug.carroll@gcu.edu.