When Blackhawk Christian boys basketball coach Marc Davidson passed away Monday after fighting cancer for more than two years, the married father of seven was just 49 years old.
Davidson treasured Colossians 3:23 as his favorite Bible verse, Blake Sebring wrote for The Journal Gazette in a story Tuesday. In the New International Version, the verse reads, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
“I've used that verse so many times on myself, on my kids, on kids that I've coached ...,” he said in March 2021 before the Braves won their second consecutive state basketball championship. “I've been using that verse lately to relate to big things like dying. That's a big thing. I've never thought of Colossians 3:23 as it relates to dying until about three weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it a lot since.”
Doctors discovered a tumor on one of Davidson's kidneys in October 2020, and he grappled with stage 4 cancer until Monday. That didn't keep Davidson from asking opposing coaches whether they would allow him to share his Christian testimony with their teams. Occasionally those meetings occurred in the locker room, but they mostly took place at center court in front of a community.
The teams, large and small, parochial and public, convened at the 10-second line. The gymnasiums were quiet as Davidson spoke. Many in the stands leaned forward to hear him.
After the March 6 Bluffton sectional championship game, fans strolled onto the floor to listen and pray with Davidson.
“I'm walking out of the gym ... and a young gal from Adams Central said she appreciated my testimony and was praying for me,” Davidson said, remembering that sectional. “I don't know these people, but to know they are praying for me ... I feel that. That's how the early church was described. They love each other before they know each other. I felt that in so many different ways; it's been pretty unbelievable.”
Davidson's testimony inspired many. His players told him how grateful they were, as did those from opposing teams. Northrop's Jalen Jackson posted on Twitter Monday: “Coach Davidson thank you for the impact you have left on my life. Thank you for the impact you have left on Fort Wayne. @BCSAD thank you, for hiring such a great person to help make the basketball community amazing. Basketball will miss you coach. Rest in heaven.”
During nine seasons with the Braves, Davidson's teams were 197-55. They won eight sectionals, two regionals, two semistates, and state titles in 2019 and 2021. He was a winner.
But his greatest rewards, we suspect, are not his basketball triumphs. Undoubtedly they are the dozens of players and thousands of fans who say he helped shape their faith and set them on a course to live a thankful life.