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YouTube Gold: Dahntay’s Pushups

A legendary play for Duke fans. A piece of villainy for Virginia partisans.

Notre Dame v Duke X Jones
Dahntay Jones takes it to the rack!

If you were watching Duke Basketball in the aughts, you’ll remember Dahntay Jones and his trip to Charlottesville in 2003.

In his day, transfers were still pretty rare under Mike Krzyzewski. He was maybe the second, following Rowshon McLeod in the late 1990’s.

A close friend of Duke star Jason Williams, Jones transferred from Rutgers and moved into the starting lineup the year after Shane Battier graduated. He was athletic and tough and very popular with Duke fans.

Other ACC schools?

Not so much.

And perhaps the fan base that held him in the most disdain was Virginia. And you can’t totally blame them.

In the 2003 game up there, Jones burst through a double team and barreled to the basket. In his way was 6-10 junior Nick Vander Laan.

If you watch carefully, you can see that part way up, Vander Baan realizes he can’t stop Jones - and Jones realizes it too - and he throws down a dunk that shocked the broadcast crew and his teammates as well.

Then after, he fell to the ground and immediately did three pushups.

It seemed instinctive and, well, vigorous, rather than cocky and insulting, which is pretty much how the Virginia fans took it.

And why not? He just pulled off one of the great dunks in ACC history. All things considered, it was a pretty calm celebration of something incredible.