Former Eckerd College men’s basketball standout Darrien Mack ’13 is taking his newest league by storm as his professional career continues to take flight in Chile with Tinguiririca San Fernando.
With the third week of the season coming to a close, the versatile 6-7 swingman has compiled impressive numbers since his arrival after penning a contract in early September.
Mack, wearing a new number 25 on his jersey (he wore 24 at EC), is currently averaging over 20 points and over 10 rebounds per game. His torrid double-double pace has TSF sporting a 4-2 record in the North Division of the Liga Nacional de Basquetbol.
In his professional debut on September 28, Mack recorded 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, numbers closely mirroring his senior season averages at Eckerd that merited All-American honors and plenty of other awards.
As recent as Sunday, Mack erupted for 25 points and 10 more rebounds as his team put up 117 points against Quilicura.
“As a team, I think we are really adopting the family concept,” Mack said. “We do a lot of bonding off the court which shows on the court. It’s an awesome feeling knowing that you are part of an organization that emits so much love and support.”
A few self-provided video highlight clips from Mack showcases his crowd-pleasing athleticism with a high-rising slam dunk on the fast break, a three from the corner and his patented slashing ability to seamlessly get to the free throw line at will.
The product from Panama Beach has sustained a tradition of Eckerd alums being imported into the Chilean professional circuit, joining the likes of former Triton big men Dale Carn and Zaronn Cann.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays feature morning shootarounds and practices at night for TSF. Thursdays and Fridays are used for more practice and preparation for games on Saturday and Sunday. Mondays are Mack’s off days.
Mack continues to become acclimated with a new culture, embracing the fans in his new setting. Language has been his biggest barrier so far, but he continues to learn a little more each day as friendships and bonds form.
“The people here are super friendly,” he said. “The food is about the same. I’m getting by with the little language I know. My coach does a really good job of visually communicating with me.”
Coining the commonly said term “futbol,” Mack watched Chile qualify for the World Cup against Ecuador with his teammates at a barbeque. The match was important enough for the coaching staff to shift around practice to cheer on their country.
“It was mandatory that I root for the home team,” he quipped.
Mack is also keeping close tabs on this year’s 2013-14 Eckerd basketball squad and former teammates as they prepare for the upcoming season right around the corner.
TSF is currently tied for first in the eight-team North Division with Universidad Catolica and CD Boston College.
EckerdTritons.com will remain in touch with Mack throughout the season and provide a later midseason update.