The ASAK guard cites a mixture of high-quality basketball and academics as the deciding factors in his committment.
“It just felt like a 400-ton weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
That’s how Urban ASAK guard Darius McBride described the initial feeling after he accepted a scholarship offer to play basketball at SMU.
“Nothing beats that feeling of putting in all that work, the sweat, the tears, everything that goes into being a basketball player then seeing that smile on my mom’s face,” he said. “All the sacrifices she made, finally being able to put myself in a position where I can have a successful life and contribute to her and everything she’s done for me. The feeling I got, I can’t even explain it.”
McBride joined Urban ASAK two years ago and was used mostly as a second option with current Texas Longhorn forward Brock Cunningham on the roster. He took that time and opportunity to learn from one of the best players to ever put on an Urban ASAK uniform.
“Watching him, seeing what he did, the work ethic he had – it really made me see what I needed to improve on and what I needed to do to step into a leadership role the following year,” McBride said.
This summer, McBride stepped into Cunningham’s spot as the go-to scorer and team leader, and he filled the role perfectly. Surrounded mostly by a group of underclassmen, McBride led the team to multiple tournament championships, including a 25-point performance to take home the adidas Gauntlet bracket championship in Fort Worth.
“Coach Carlton and Coach Murphy, they were really great, and patient with me,” he said. “They gave me a lot of opportunities to go out and do what I needed to do. They instilled confidence in me when sometimes I didn’t have it myself.”
His consistent body of work ultimately led to more than a dozen scholarship offers, including one from an elite program in the state, SMU. McBride said the decision to choose the Mustangs was a relatively easy one.
“The good education and the basketball up there, that just made it a no-brainer,” he said. “I was recruited by Brown and Stephen F. Austin, which is a really good basketball program, but education-wise, they didn’t really have what I needed. And then basketball-wise, Brown didn’t really have what I needed. So I got a mixture of both at SMU.”
McBride committed after going on an official visit, where he met his future teammates and coaches over a series of breakfasts and lunches and got a feel for the culture at SMU. He also attended a live practice to see how Mustangs coach Tim Jankovich and his staff operate.
“That was really good, to see that, because that’s when I noticed that I actually fit in with the guys and I like the playing style that they had,” McBride said. “I like Coach Jankovich a lot. The demeanor around his players, he’s a very calm guy, but you can tell he’s strictly business. You can tell the players around him really like him.”
All that’s left between McBride and his first game in an SMU jersey is one more season at the high school level. After a career where he experienced a healthy mix of highs and lows, McBride said if he could go back in time and give some advice to himself as a freshman, he’d offer one key tip.
“Don’t give up. There’s a lot of times where you’re not getting recruited how you want to, and you ask yourself ‘Am I going to make it, all the work I put in,’ you feel like it’s not paying off.
I remember my sophomore year, sophomore summer, I thought that was a really big summer. And this time last year, I was sitting on one offer and I was really mad at myself. My confidence was draining. But I continued to work, and I’m sitting here now with the opportunity to play high-major basketball, get a great education, and ultimately have a successful life. I’d tell myself to keep putting in the work that I have, ‘cause it all pays off one way or another.”