Darrell ArmstrongBiography
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Darrell Armstrong's Professional Life

Darrell's Professional Life

Reaching the NBA is an elusive dream shared by many talented athletes. It's a strong sense of belonging to an exclusive fraternity that only a few can acclaim. Once every year, the NBA draft welcomes young, talented athletes to their fraternity, consequently resulting in the reshuffling of other players in or out of the league. Reaching and staying in the NBA is a coveted accomplishment pursued by many. Darrell Armstrong's accomplished road to the NBA is one of a heart-warming, hope-giving story. His story simply serves to prove that success comes to those who persevere.

Darrell grew up in Gastonia, NC, where his original love for sports was all about the gridiron. Today Darrell is still a huge fanatic of football. In fact, Darrell had serious aspirations of being a kicker in the NFL. It wasn't until his senior year in high school that he was first introduced to organized basketball. After high school he went to nearby Fayetteville State, (a division-II college). His intended athletic presence there was not as a basketball player, but ironically as a kicker. His first two years of college was dominated by his football interest. In fact, he owns the college record for the longest field goal kick (of 47 yards). This feat was achieve not just once, but twice. It wasn't until his final three of his five years at Fayetteville State, that he started to take basketball seriously. It was then that he met coach, Jeff Capel.

Coach Capel was the first to see the hidden potential in Darrell and served as the first true believer of his NBA destiny. But this accomplishment would be no simple task. It was the kind of journey that was reserved for the big, the young, and the strong. Nevertheless, a persevering Armstrong, armed with a never-die attitude was determined to prove to as many people as was necessary that he had the skills and the heart to make it.

This quest took Darrell through basketball's hall of acronyms. He played in the CBA, USBL, and the GBA. If that wasn't enough, he also played in Spain and Cyprus. Although this meandering journey was, at times discouraging, filled with insecurities, and constantly changing. Darrell nevertheless, found ways to use every experience as a step on the ladder to propel him to greater heights. It was during his days with the USBL that his real opportunity first surfaced. Orlando Magic GM John Gabriel observed the energetic Darrell Armstrong. Gabriel liked what he saw and not long after Armstrong was signed to a temporary ten-day contract. With this golden opportunity at hand, basketball's hardest worker was justly rewarded with a long-term contract and the rest is history. Armstrong, after many hard-fought years trying to prove himself, finally made it! It just goes to show you, success does come to those who persevere.

After signing a ten-day contract with the Orlando Magic very few people could fathom the thought that one-day Darrell would be knighted as the "team leader." Although this distinction may be a transition title, nevertheless it's a major achievement for this humble leader. It all started with his own heart-felt belief in himself, that he could do that which he was focused on achieving. True leaders are not created. It starts with a heart-felt notion that matures and materializes over time. One simply has to revisit the highlight footage from the Shaq and Penney days to discover who the biggest cheerleader off the bench was. It was none other than Darrell Armstrong. He was always the first to cheer and inspire his superstars with high fives and loud shouts. Nevertheless, since then, Darrell's value to his team has changed, but his role in many ways has not. He is still the biggest cheerleader, but he now does most of his cheering and inspiring on the court.

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