Darryl McDonald

Darryl McDonald
Position Guard
Nickname D-Mac
Height 192 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 89 kg (196 lb)
Team Retired
Nationality  Australia
Born 17 June 1964 (1964-06-17) (age 47)
New York, U.S.
College/University Texas A&M University
Debut 1994
Previous Clubs Oklahoma City Cavalry (CBA) 1990-91
Sioux Falls Skyforce (CBA) 1991-93
North Melbourne Giants 1994-98
Victoria Titans/Giants 1999-2003
Melbourne Tigers 2003-2008
Championships 1994, 2006, 2008
Career Highlights

All NBL First Team 1994-96 NBL Good Hands Award 1994-97 NBL All-Star Game MVP 1996, 2006 NBL Best Sixth Man 2004

NBL leader in steals 1994-97, 1999-2001, 2003

Darryl McDonald (born 17 June 1964) is a retired American-Australian professional basketball player who last played for the Melbourne Tigers in Australia's National Basketball League. Known as "D-Mac," he attended Texas A&M University and formerly played with the now defunct NBL teams the North Melbourne Giants, Victoria Titans and Victoria Giants.

McDonald has played in over 485 NBL games, and was a starting member of the teams which won the 1994, ,2006, and 2008 NBL Championships, and has twice been named the NBL All-Star Game MVP. In 2011, he was the interim Coach for the Melbourne Tigers, and he is currently the 1sts Basketball Coach at Wesley College, Melbourne and the Head Coach for the Hawthorn Magic Boys under 16s program. His team has reached the Grand Final of the Victorian Junior Basketball League 1.

Contents

Early years

Born in New York and growing up on the streets of Harlem, McDonald learned to play basketball on the tough New York playground courts such as the famous Rucker Park. Known as "Mr. Excitement" and "D-Mac: The Playground King.",[1] he battled against New York playground legends such as The Terminator, Master Rob and Pookie Wilson as well as future NBA stars Rod Strickland and Mario 'The Jedi' Elie.[2]

Basketball playing career

College

McDonald played basketball for Westchester Community College after his graduation from high school.[2] After hearing about the young point guard, Texas A&M coach Shelby Metcalf travelled to Harlem in 1985 to see McDonald play on the playgrounds. Thoroughly impressed, Metcalf began recruiting McDonald to come to Texas and play for the Aggies.[1] Fortunately for Metcalf, McDonald had already decided to leave New York. His neighborhood in Harlem was very dangerous, and McDonald's brother had in fact been shot and killed by robbers in early 1985. After agreeing to attend Texas A&M, McDonald spent the first few days of his stay in College Station in his dorm room, convinced that the number of gun racks he saw on pickup trucks throughout town meant the area was as dangerous as the place he had left.[2]

His early years in Texas were frustrating as Metcalf tried to change's McDonald's style of play. McDonald was a "creative and flashy" player who liked playing to the crowd. With superb instincts, McDonald had a knack for stealing the ball but had difficulty playing straight-up defence. Metcalf finally agreed to allow McDonald to play as he saw fit, with good results.[2] In 1987, McDonald led the Aggies to the Southwest Conference Tournament Championship, despite the fact that the Aggies entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed after losing nine of their last eleven conference games. For his performance, McDonald was named the tournament MVP.[3] Their victory earned the team an automatic bid to the 1987 NCAA Tournament, Metcalf's final tournament appearance, and the last for the Aggies until 2006.[1] The Aggies played a tough game against Duke but ultimately lost their first-round game, exiting the tournament.

Professional

After graduating from Texas A&M, McDonald spent several years playing in the relative obscurity of the Canadian NBL, where he was named an All-Star in 1993 while playing to Cape Breton, and the CBA where he played for the Oklahoma City Cavalry and the Sioux Falls Skyforce.[4] A chance encounter led D-Mac's career Down Under. Brett Brown, at the time coach of the North Melbourne Giants, was watching a tape of a CBA game to scout a different player. As soon as he saw D-Mac, he knew that was the player he wanted.[citation needed]

In McDonald's first year in the league in 1994, he led the Giants to the championship and was named the runner-up NBL Most Valuable Player and the runner-up NBL Best Defensive player. For each of his first three years (1994–1997), McDonald led the league in assists and steals, winning the NBL Good Hands Award each year, and was again named runner-up NBL Most Value Player in 1997. From 1995-1997 he played in the NBL All Star-Game, becoming the MVP of the 1996 game. McDonald was named to the All-NBL First Team from 1994–1996 and to the All-NBL Second team in 1997.[4]

McDonald continued to remain with his team when they merged into the Victoria Titans in 1999 under coach Brian Goorjian, and then becoming a member of the Victoria Giants after the Titans folded in 2002. Despite finishing second in the NBL in assists in 2002 and 2003, and being the NBL leader in steals in 2001 and 2003, McDonald was sacked by the Giants after the 2003 season as they decided to move in a younger direction.[4][5]

The Melbourne Tigers quickly picked him up, and he served as a backup to Andrew Gaze and Lanard Copeland for two seasons,[5] earning NBL Best Sixth Man honors in 2004.[4] The 2005-06 season saw McDonald return to the starting lineup, and his play saw many sporting commentators wonder how his 42 year old body was able to sustain his elite level of play and athleticism.[5] McDonald helped lead the Tigers to the 2006 championship, outclassing many of his younger opponents along the way, including starting Australian Boomers point guard CJ Bruton. He was named among the finalist for the NBL's 25th Anniversary Team, finishing 17th in the final voting, and was named to the 2006 NBL Aussie All-Star Team, where he was named the MVP.[4]

McDonald signed a contract extension to lead the Tigers past his 44th birthday. His contract also gives him the opportunity to coach a Melbourne Tigers developmental team in the offseason.[2] Despite his age, he was still one of the quickest and most explosive players in the NBL, but rarely played a full game due to his age and limited stamina. He retired after Game 5 of the 2007/08 Grand Final Series.

Personal life

McDonald now has dual American/Australian citizenship.[2] He has seven children, all of whose names start with D, who were born between 1980 and 2004. Although four of his children live in the United States, McDonald, his partner Tania, and the other children live in Melbourne.[5]

McDonald once appeared on Judge Judy to debate a custody hearing for one of his children. The case was held shortly after his season finished in Australia, with McDonald just making it to the trial.

His oldest son, Derrick, who plays for the Melbourne Tigers Big V (VBL) team, and was able to make the Tigers' roster as a developmental player in the 2006-07 season. D-Mac was able to share court time with him throughout the season, starting with the pre-season competition, the Singapore Cup, and leading into the Grand Final series. This was widely regarded as a first in professional basketball.

In 2007 Darryl began coaching the Wesley College 1sts basketball team. This was the beginning of an amazing season in which Wesley College were a surprise package in the APS competition, finishing on top with 7 wins 1 loss moving into the final 3 games. McDonald continued coaching the Wesley 1sts in 2008 and 2009, and is currently back for another season in 2010.

Currently, Darryl is involved with basketball coaching at AUBD, a basketball program run by NBA veteran Sedale Threatt and his son Sedale Threatt Jr.

References

  1. ^ a b c Lopez, John P. (2007-02-12). "Innovative coach with comic's timing". The Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/lopez/4545036.html. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lopez, John P. (2006-03-15). "D-Mac roots for Ags from Down Under". The Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2006_4079850. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  3. ^ Wizig, Jerry (1989-03-10). "UT's Mays solid pick as top gun". The Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1989_608987. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "44. Darryl McDonald". National Basketball League. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-04-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20070417093650/http://www.nbl.com.au/default.aspx?s=tigers_playerprofile&profile=41. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  5. ^ a b c d Howell, Stephen (March 2006). "The Tireless Tiger". The Age. Archived from the original on 2007-02-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20070202001522/http://www.about.theage.com.au/view_award.asp?intid=136. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 

External links


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