Darcy Malone and Nicholas Duncan, two members of the Silver Medal winning 2012 Australian Junior Men’s team have both signed letters of intent this week to play with Division I basketball programs at Louisiana State (LSU) and Boise State University respectively.
Canberra’s Darcy Malone measures in at 213cm and currently for the Canberra Gunners. He made big news in July last year when AFL club Greater West Sydney decided to target him and try to influence him to switch sporting codes. Malone, whose grandfather played for Carlton declared he had no interest in swapping to the oval shaped ball.
“Even if they started throwing million-dollar contracts or something at me, I’d still be saying no,” Malone said.
“‘I haven’t got any passion, I haven’t got any love for AFL at the moment – I’m still quite focused on doing the best I can with what I like doing. ‘If I can make it to the NBA or play in the Olympics with basketball, then that’s what I want to do, I don’t want to run around on the football field.”
LSU coach Johnny Jones is already impressed with Malone’s talent and feels he will be a big addition to the Tigers front line this season.
“Darcy gives us the much needed presence and depth in a position that was absent with our team last year,” said LSU Coach Johnny Jones. “His ability to step out and shoot the ball at his size will help to prevent double teams that we faced so much in the post last year. We look forward to his arrival in Baton Rouge. Darcy will be an impactful player at LSU for years to come.”
Manly basketball product Nicholas Duncan, a 208cm small forward will fit in nicely at Boise State alongside fellow Australians Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic, both of whom came from the Australian Institute of Sport, where Duncan is a current scholarship holder.
“When I first saw Nick, I had flashbacks to Bishop Kelly’s finest, Cory Violette,” laughed Boise State coach Leon Rice. “He gives you some size, some toughness, and seems to be a real good feel-for-the-game kind of guy. He’ll really fit into our program.”
Rice was quick to credit assistant coaches John Rillie and Jeff Linder for the Australian pipeline. Rillie played professionally in Australia from 1995-2009 and represented the country in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
“John and Jeff have gone over there and both of those guys have done a great job recruiting these guys,” Rice said. “John is dialed in to Australia, and so is Jeff, and they know a lot of people there and get to know a lot of the basketball people there.”
Duncan averaged 17.6 points and 14.9 rebounds per game in leading NSW Metro to the gold medal at the 2011 U18 National Championship. He then played a huge role in the 2012 U17 World Championships, where he averaged 7 points and 8 rebounds.
Darcy Malone was used sparingly off the bench in Kaunas, Lithuania averaging only 1 point and 1 rebound per game, but will be sure to produce bigger numbers during his time in Louisiana.