We continue a look behind the scenes in Blue Devil basketball, taking a look at Duke Blue Planet.
Working with college students would drive many people crazy, but for the man in charge of Duke Blue Planet (DBP), working with college kids keeps him in touch.
“They keep you young and current, and they make you laugh,” said DBP Director Dave Bradley. “They’re Coach K’s fountain of youth…it looks like he’s actually losing years in age.”
Bradley is not an old fogey yet. The 2004 Duke graduate recently became engaged and is getting married at the start of next summer. His fiancé works in the athletic department, which is how they met.
“It’s worked out pretty well,” he said with a smile. “Duke’s been pretty good to me.”
D.B. (occasionally D-Brizzy), as he is known to the guys on the team, says the relationships he builds with players is one of the best parts of his job.
“I enjoy getting to know them as guys,” he said. “I look out for them from the social media side, but I want to be a friend to them. A guy who they can confide in if they need to.”
So what exactly does he do besides spreading Duke love across the planet? He helps players understand how powerful social media is, how to manage it, and how to use it effectively.
“I just put together a presentation that I am going to do with [assistant coach] Jon Scheyer in the next few weeks on social media and branding,” he said.
Besides working to avoid a train wreck on Twitter, Bradley also helps the coaches recruit, keeps track of what is going on in the sports universe and shoots and edits videos that are put online. He says those videos can help break stereotypes of “Duke guys.”
“I think there are some misconceptions out there about what a Duke guy really is,” he said. “Duke isn’t just this super serious academic oriented crazy, intense place. It is when it needs to be, but the guys can have fun and do have a lot of fun.”
Sometimes he gives the guys on the team a camera and a microphone and waits to see what happens. The guys interview each other and ask questions, and Bradley says it is a great way to see what’s on a player’s mind.
“Our kids are a different type of kid, I think in a good way,” he said. “I think we’ve shown that through Duke Blue Planet.”