Duke played Wake Forest in its first ever basketball game 113 years ago

Just more than 113 years ago, what is now Duke University played its first-ever basketball game against Wake Forest, which Duke just narrowly beat in its final home game of the year. 

Back on March 2, 1906 in the first college game played in North Carolina, Wake Forest claimed a 24-10 victory against Trinity College, which eventually became Duke University. Trinity played its inaugural game in front of an "enthusiastic audience" at Angier Duke Gymnasium, a venue on what is now East Campus that was "probably" the first college gym in North Carolina. 

At the time, the court was roughly a third of the size of the floor that now is cemented at Cameron Indoor Stadium. After it was retired from basketball use, it served as a "campus laundry" and cafeteria. It now houses the Ark Dance Studio. 

The Trinity Chronicle, The Chronicle's original name, reported on Trinity's first-ever game game in print on March 6, 1906. The game was described as “unusually clean,” with few fouls and little roughness.  

"Trinity's defeat was due largely to the inexperience of the team," The Trinity Chronicle reported. "Lack of confidence on the part of the home team made itself very evident in the first half." 

The Trinity Chronicle wrote that Wake Forest "practically won the game" in the first half, but that Trinity clawed back in the second half to outscore Wake Forest by one point.  Wake Forest's captain and right forward B.F. Couch, who knocked down five of Wake Forest's 10 field goals and hit four "goals from fouls," starred with "swiftness and splendid goal throwing" that put the team on his back. 

"His mates, however, supported him well," The Trinity Chronicle reported. "Their passing was accurate and clean, and it was very seldom that a Trinity player was left uncovered."

The star of the 1906 game for Trinity was point guard “Reddy” White, described as a vigorous player with excellent knowledge of the game. 

"He showed swiftness and aggressiveness, a splendid combination," The Trinity Chronicle wrote.

March 6, 1906
March 6, 1906



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