There’s a good feeling associated with being able to follow in your father’s footsteps.
But getting to follow in your father’s footsteps, as well as your grandfather’s footsteps and your great grandfather’s footsteps takes that to a new level.
Drew DeVine is a junior guard for the Marshall varsity boys’ basketball team. He is the fourth generation of DeVine family members to play varsity basketball at Marshall, dating back to his great grandfather Dewey DeVine, who started on Marshall’s only state championship boys’ basketball team in the early 1940s.
“It’s kind of crazy that there have been four generations of our family that have come through and played varsity basketball at this high school. I just want to live up to the family name,” Drew DeVine said.
Drew’s father Jason DeVine played for Marshall from 1986-88 and his grandfather Doug DeVine played for Marshall in 1966-67. All of them come from Marshall royalty as Dewey DeVine played on the 1944 state championship Marshall team – which has a banner hanging over the court and its team photo up on the wall outside the Marshall gym.
“Yeah, I go by that picture every day coming to practice. I look up at that picture and sometimes tell my friends, that’s my grandpa up there – it’s a pretty cool thing to think about. Knowing he won that state championship, it’s something I can aspire to,” Drew DeVine said.
Marshall sports is definitely a topic of conversation for the DeVines with all the connections to the school. It is also a bond that they can all share and appreciate.
“We are definitely a sports family, a Marshall sports family,” Jason DeVine said. “There’s a lot of driveway time, shooting baskets with each other, a lot of TV time, watching games, a lot of traveling to games with all of us together. It’s something we all can do together.
“I’m at all the games to watch Drew, and my parents sold their retirement home in Florida so they could be at all the games, too. There’s a lot of support there. It’s a real bond in our family all the way up and down the generations.”
Drew’s great grandfather Dewey passed away in the 1990s, but at any game you’ll see the son, the father and the grandfather all talking about Marshall basketball and sharing experiences that they have all been a part of.
“Sometimes during a game, I think about being on the court for Marshall just like my dad, my grandpa and my great grandpa before me. I think about wanting to live up to that level of play. I don’t feel a lot of pressure, just a lot of support because I know my dad and grandpa are watching me play and we have all experienced the same kinds of things over the years,” Drew DeVine said.
Despite a relatively young team, Marshall is rolling this season and is at 6-0 after a win over Parma Western on Tuesday. In that game, Drew DeVine injured his thumb and could miss some time going forward. DeVine is part of a highly-productive junior backcourt that includes Jacob Brubaker, as both started last year as sophomores as well.
“We are playing well, playing as a team, hopefully we can keep it rolling,” Drew DeVine said. “Got a lot of experience playing last year as a sophomore and I think that has helped this year”
Leading that group is Marshall coach Nick Dent, in his third year as the varsity coach. He has an appreciation for the special situation of having a fourth-generation Marshall basketball player on his team.
“I’m not a Marshall native, but I have really enjoyed getting to know native Marshall people and learning about the connections,” Dent said. “I learn the most about this school and this community through athletics, talking to fathers of my players and grandfathers of my players. It’s different than where I come from. I am from the Detroit area, so I have really gained an appreciation for the small-town, multi-generationial connections you get at a place like this. I think it’s really unique and special to a small town.”
Drew DeVine is also a standout baseball player and has already committed to play at Western Michigan University. But there was no getting away from playing basketball also, as it was in his blood from the start.
“My dad wa
s my coach in third grade, he was also an assistant coach for the varsity for awhile and I was the waterboy. Ever since then I always wanted to play on that court and play varsity basketball and keep the tradition going. It’s a great honor to be the fourth in my family to do that and hopefully my son can come through and one day carry on the tradition of Marshall basketball himself,” Drew DeVine said.