OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — It is not his 6-foot-9 height and athletic build that suggest Henrik Davidsen is passionate about basketball. Instead, it is his smile from ear to ear while speaking about the sport that proves it.
A three-year contributor to the NYIT men's basketball team from Oslo, Davidsen has been selected to represent his native Norway in a tournament in Taipei, Taiwan, in mid-August known as the Universiade. The event also is referred to as the World University Games. The event is considered the Olympics by student-athletes with Norway's national team.
Davidsen previously has competed in two other international tournaments representing Norway, both in Bulgaria.
This time, he won't be alone. His sister will be alongside him, competing with the women's national team in the same tournament.
"Basketball is in my blood. My entire family — from parents and cousins, to aunts and uncles — are all basketball players. If I did not say yes to this, they would probably all not speak to me," he said. "We are a basketball family."
Based on his college experience at NYIT, Davidsen described American basketball as "much more physical than Norwegian basketball." He attributes his three-year stint in the physical East Coast Conference as a primary reason he is ready to again compete on the international level.
As a senior in 2016-17, Davidsen appeared in 26 games for NYIT and started seven. Although he is not training with the Norwegian team this summer, Davidsen is keeping busy. In addition to working out at NYIT, he is enrolled in summer classes on the Old Westbury campus this summer, working toward a degree in computer electrical engineering. He participated in May's commencement ceremony and expects to formally receive his degree later this year.
Basketball is so near and dear to Davidsen's heart, he said his favorite thing to hear is "the ball passing through the metal net." He is reminded of the Michael Jordan-fronted movie "Space Jam" every time he hears the sound.