Liberty Flames 5’9” freshman guard, Darius McGhee
Even at a young age, Darius McGhee was always throwing something around, whether that was a basketball or even a rubber duck.
From the age of two, McGhee said his mom always caught him throwing a rubber duck into her crockpots while she was trying to cook or clean, and so as he grew older it was only natural that he played basketball. From ages 6 to 11, McGhee played basketball at his local recreation center.
“I was a little athletic,” McGhee said. “So, I was able to run past everybody. Then in middle school my skills started to develop and I was able to shoot. And I’d say that’s when basketball took off.”
When he began high school basketball as a freshman, he started on the varsity team, and that was a turning point for McGhee because his older brother was a senior on the team. Playing alongside his brother motivated McGhee and gave him the courage that he needed to begin taking long court shots.
During that time, McGhee said he thought, “This is something that I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Sophomore year of his high school career, McGhee broke his arm and could not play basketball that season. During this time, he learned not to take things for granted and this only pushed his confidence on the court when he returned his junior year.
Fall semester of his senior year, after transferring to an all-boys school, Coach Ritchie McKay began to recruit McGhee. After visiting Liberty University for the first time, McGhee knew that this was where he needed to be.
“He’s just such a phenomenal kid, and we have the privilege of coaching him,” McKay said. “Offensively, people are not giving him a look, he has to shoot from 35 to get a clean look, and he will shoot from 35. We’ve had a few good shooters over the course of my career, and Darius is in that class.”
Recently, McGhee has been tearing up the court at Liberty, and as a 5’9” freshman, that could be the last thing people expect. McGhee is encouraged to take shots from far out not just from McKay, but also from his teammates.
“Darius has something that not a lot of people have,” teammate Caleb Homesley said. “You have a guy that shooting far like that it adds a different element to the game, and not a lot of people are used to that.”
Through encouragement and confidence, both things have been taught not just to McGhee but to his teammates, and they are all trying to just encourage each other to use their gifts.
“I didn’t take those shots from early on,” McGhee said. “But Coach McKay and everyone encouraged me, and once I started making a few the confidence built, so I could really play my game, which is shooting from out there.”
McGhee is the first person in his family to play collegiate-level basketball, and his family motivates him more to give his best. He knows God has blessed him with these abilities, and he wants to use them.