NJCAA Feature: March and Brite take care of Davidson-Davie players

Mar. 22—DANVILLE — Being selfless is one of the core beliefs in the Davidson-Davie basketball program.

Head coach Matt Ridge stresses it every day to his young men and he has two classic examples within his program.

Joan March and Monique Bright are volunteers for the Storm, handling several different duties off the court including message therapy and cooking pregame meals when Davidson-Davie plays at home.

"These two ladies are the model of being selfless human beings. They give their time, their money to buy groceries and they cook our pregame meals for home games," Ridge said. "They are message therapists for when our guys get those bumps and bruises during a long basketball season.

"They are also such good Christian humans that are great examples for our young men to be around. We are so blessed to have them."

This week, March and Bright, who are in the 10th year with Davidson-Davie, are back in Danville for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament as the Storm looks to clam their first-ever national title.

So, how did March and Bright get involved with the Davidson-Davie program?

It started with Bright's husband being transferred for work to North Carolina.

"We met the old assistant coach Jermon Marsh at the Y and he introduced us to the team and it just snowballed from there," Bright said.

"What happened is that one of the boys got hurt and Jermon Marsh knew what I did for a living before I retired," March added. "I told him to just have the kid sit down and I ended up with three kids to work on that day.

"After that Jermon asked, would you like to help out sometimes whenever we need you? Ever since then, we've been working with the boys."

While Brite is based full-time in North Carolina, March splits her time between North Carolina and California.

"She can't sit still even through she is retired," Brite said of March. "She spends basketball season in North Carolina and then goes back to Bishop, Calif., where she hikes and pet sits for friends. She walks like 5-7 miles a day with the dogs, and hiking around Yosemite."

And for Brite, working with Davidson-Davie fills her need to see college basketball.

"I used to drive to away Nevada Wolf Pack games from Oregon down to Nevada," said Brite, a 2003 graduate of Nevada. "It's a little far to drive from North Carolina to Nevada. I had to find another college team to follow."

Obviously, Ridge appreciates having Brite and March around the program, but what about the players.

"All of the boys and some of the boys moms that we've been able to meet are as sweet at they can be and they appreciate all the things we do to help out the boys with their muscles," March said. "I'm also an acupressurist and I do a lot with holistic oils and other things.

"It's just natural for me to do this and I love the kids."

In addition to the roles they play as massage therapists, one of the most appreciated jobs that Brite and March handle for the Storm is cooking the pregame meals before home games.

"This team like the breakfast back the best," Brite said. "We started with 5 pounds of bacon, but it's ended up being 7 pounds."

That's for the day games and for night contests it chicken fettucine alfredo with bread and salad.

"It's definitely one of mine favorites," Ridge said. "And their breakfasts are unbelievable. They go all out with eggs, waffles and bacon.

"It's one of the reasons that I'm gaining weight in addition to my wife, Candice, being a great cook."

That's all part of being part of a good family.

"We do talk about family a lot. Some programs talk about family, but I'm not sure what they mean," Ridge said. "When we talk about family, we mean that we are a family and those two are the top of that list for being selfless individuals that are more concerned with the welfare of our young men."