David Falk has been making highlights all season at Eastern
Mennonite University in Harrisonburg. But last weekend, the Madison County alum made the big-time.
"I was actually already in bed, and all of a sudden my phone just started blowing up," EMU basketball coach Kirby Dean recalled this week. "And the first thing I read was, "David Falk was just on SportsCenter's Top 10."
Falk was featured on ESPN's flagship show on Saturday night, with his two-handed jam in a win against Randolph College cracking the program's countdown of the night's top highlights, at No. 9.
"I actually missed it the first time," Falk said. "And then somebody texted. Well, a bunch of people texted me and called me and told me."
"It was pretty cool," Falk added. "Coming from a small town and stuff, growing up, you never think that you'd be on there one day."
Falk arrived at in Harrisonburg in 2011, after leading the Mountaineers to a state title, then spending a season at Hargrave. Falk spent his first two years at EMU backing up big man Owen Longacre.
But in his third season, he has matured into one of the best post players in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
"Now that he's playing 35 minutes, he's just blossomed and gotten confident, and one thing has led to another," said Dean. "And he's become, really, as dominant as any big man I've seen in this league since I've been here."
Entering Wednesday night's game at Bridgewater, Falk's 13.3 rebounds-per-game ranked second in all of Division III basketball. He also ranked ninth in the country with 68 total blocks, and tied for 10th with 14 double-doubles this season.
Falk finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in the Royals' win against Randolph. That performance also helped the junior post player earn ODAC player of the week honors.
Dean has been the head coach at his alma mater for a decade now. And he says he hasn't had a lot of players who can do the things he has seen Falk do.
"After he made that play the other night, I just remember I looked around and I said, "Wow,"" Dean said. "He's not only the best athlete I've had here. He's probably the best athlete, as far as jumping, that I have coached, including my eight years at Division I."
The EMU program is nicknamed the "Runnin' Royals" because of the up-tempo offense Dean employs. And Falk -- listed at 6-6 and 190 lbs. -- says he's a perfect fit.
"I'm an undersized post man, not really that big," he said. "So I can get up and down. And that's where I have an advantage against other post players."
"It's a fun way to play. I get dunks the way I do because of the way we play."
"He doesn't have the Hakeem Olajuwon repertoire of post moves," said Dean. "But as far as running the floor, finishing in transition, tap dunks, I can't think that there's somebody better at any level than what he's doing."