Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

    U-High grad brings ‘Pack to new heights

    Darrinton Moncrieffe, the tallest student on campus, was destined to play basketball.

    It’s in his blood. His uncle played for Southern University, and a cousin played for Alcorn State.

    “I’ve always played basketball. Throughout high school, that’s all I did,” Moncrieffe said. “Always defense, shot-blocks or rebounding.”

    The 6-foot-9 power forward hails from Baton Rouge and attended grade school through high school at the Louisiana State University Laboratory School, located on the LSU campus.

    His senior year of prep ball, Moncrieffe earned the distinction of District 8-2A Defensive Player of the Year for 2007, averaging seven points a game, blocking five shots and trapping 8.5 rebounds.

    In a single game back in 2005, Moncrieffe, business freshman, set a Cubs record with 18 blocks.

    At University High, Moncrieffe was teammates with Glen “Big Baby” Davis, former LSU center and current Boston Celtics forward.

    In Moncrieffe’s sophomore year, Davis left for college, along with four other starters.

    “It was hard. We had to totally rebuild from the ground up,” Moncrieffe said of the difficulty the team had with the loss of the starting five the next year.

    “Our fans still supported us, but we noticed the turnout was less the year after.”

    Although he only played with Davis his sophomore year of high school, Moncrieffe said if he learned anything from Davis, it was his love for the game.

    “He never gave me any advice. I learned everything by just watching him at practice and at games,” said Moncrieffe.

    Both players are the same height, although Davis weighs significantly more.

    Besides playing basketball, Moncrieffe was an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity throughout high school. He plans to continue service work at Loyola.

    “It made me happy,” Moncrieffe said.

    He also takes his education very seriously. When college scouts began watching Moncrieffe, only two factors helped him decide which college he should attend: basketball and education. In his senior year, men’s head basketball coach Michael Giorlando began coming to University High’s practices and games.

    “I remember being approached by (the University of New Orleans), Nicholls State and Loyola,” Moncrieffe said. “I chose Loyola because I knew what kind of education I’d be getting if I went there – a good one.”

    Before practices started this season, Moncrieffe kept in shape and trained throughout the summer.

    “I ran, lifted weights and played pick-ups,” Moncrieffe said. “I’m ready to play.”

    Moncriefe said he has high hopes for the men’s basketball team this season.

    “I’m hoping we can get to conference this season. We’ve got a good team,” Moncrieffe said. “We’re good enough to get there.”

    Jaune Jackson can be reached at [email protected].

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