BY BRAD COLE THE ADVOCATE Development has been the key word in Darcy Malone’s basketball career of late. But the 23-year-old centre is ready to put all his learning into action this SEABL season after being recruited by the North-West Tall Timbers Thunder…
Standing at seven foot tall, Malone fills the genuine big man void that the Thunder’s playing list has had for several years.
He arrived on the North-West Coast last week after spending time on a development contract with the Sydney Kings in the NBL, and is looking forward to finally logging some extended time both in the SEABL and in the NWBU with Penguin.
“It was weird because Sydney really didn’t have another team, so a lot of time we had to find our own way to get game experience, whether that was through local pick-up games or even just running on the treadmill to stay match fit,” Malone said.
“I got a bit of court time towards the end of the season but we had a group conversation at one stage about how we didn’t want to finish in last place and we managed to do it.”
“However it came at a cost for some of us younger guys who didn’t get to play as much. It’s going to be good for me to be able to play two different rosters over the off-season with Penguin and Thunder and really try to get that playing experience.”
In the first week of training with his new teammates, Malone is already liking what he is seeing with the Thunder’s structure, which still has point guard Mason Bragg to add in after his NBL duties with Perth.
He also hopes the offence allows him to return to his more traditional role of centre and be able to get some easier shots around the basket.
“I really like our offence because there is plenty of flow and the ball moves around, which I think is what basketball is all about,” Malone said. “I think the guys and I are really starting gel and that’s really important.”
“A lot of my game in Sydney has been about playing in the four spot and making moves on the perimeter but I think it will be good to go back in the post and show what I can do as an inside presence.”
While Malone is in the process of trying to make a name for himself in the Australian basketball ranks, he is the owner of an impressive claim to fame from his US college days at Louisiana State University. Malone’s final year at LSU was the first year of Australian basketball phenomenon Ben Simmons, who is now staring for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.
“Ben’s a good guy and he seems to have landed on his feet okay,” Malone joked.
“He was my roommate and is a really good buddy of mine who I keep in contact with.
“He’s living a pretty good life at the moment, but it’s surprising to see people say how great he is, because having seen all the stuff Ben can do, I know he can be better.
“It’s going to be incredible to see how far he can go, especially if all the pieces on that team stay together.”
After three years at LSU, where he graduated, Malone transferred to Cal State Fullerton to do his masters before wanting to return home and start playing professionally.
“I got halfway through my masters and decided I was done with school and wanted to go back home,” Malone said.
“I haven’t reached where I want to get yet, but hopefully in good time, everything will come.”