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Where Are They Now? / Sep 23, 2009 / 11:14 am

Where Are They Now: Darius Rice

darius-rice

Almost is probably the best word to describe the career of Darius Rice. If you remember, Rice was one of the most celebrated preps in the country back in 2000. The nephew of the football legend Jerry Rice, Darius has always been on NBA GM’s radars ever since he graduated from the University of Miami in ’04. Although he has been close several times to earning a contract, it’s now 2009 and D-Rice is still not in the league.

When Rice balled at Lanier High School (Monta Ellis’ alma-mater) in Mississippi about a decade ago, he was looking like he was going to be the next high school star to make the jump to the pros. The 6-10 forward was part of the same McDonald’s All-American class as Zach Randolph, DeShawn Stevenson, Darius Miles and the late Eddie Griffin.

Rice opted to attend Miami instead – a move that proved to hurt him. Darius was pegged a “tweener” by most NBA scouts. Too skinny and soft to be a power forward and not quick enough to guard a three. Like guys like Terrence Morris, Rice’s stock dropped every year he stayed in college. In the ’04 Draft, he went undrafted.

Although Rice had summer league and preseason stints with the Heat, Blazers, Mavs, Nets and Cavs, he spent most of his first few years out of college grinding through the D-League. As a member of the Dakota Wizards, he scored a record 52 points in route to victory in the 2007 NBDL Championship Game. That fall, Rice accepted an invite to the Cavaliers’ training camp. Rice was close to breaking the opening night roster after a strong preseason showing but was the last man cut. Ever since Cleveland waived him, he has decided to go the overseas route and has spent the last few seasons hooping it up in leagues in Uruguay, the Philippines and Singapore.

Previous to 2007, Rice had one negative experience playing outside of the country. He briefly played in China in the summer of ’05 where he had a scary and surreal experience. According to a 2005 South Florida Sun-Sentinel article, Rice’s Chinese team refused to allow him to return home to the US.

“It wasn’t a happy leaving,” Rice said. “I was on the run. I had a couple of good games, and the next thing you know it’s the scariest experience I ever had.”

This season, Darius will lace it up for Szolnoki Olajbanyasz of the Hungarian A-Division league.

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  • The REAL Tyrone

    Who be this cat?

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • dmitry of jersey

    i remember one game Rice beasted my team Rutgers. he was pretty legit in college

  • bballinca

    Why is a guy like this playing in second and third tier leagues?

  • BRUCE

    In about 5 years, Dime will write about Gerald Green! Hahahaha!

  • Celts Fan

    @Bruce you mean about 5 weeks, right?

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    I always liked Rice as a player

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    Rice was the most impressive player in that McD’s All American Game – unfortunately he should have taken that first round guaranteed money instead of going to school and trying to grow into a better player. Either way, he probably would have been one of the many high school kids that came in and stumbled. Very talented cat though, I’ve always been stunned that he doesn’t have a gig in the league. The Celtics should sign him and make him work out with Kevin Garnett.

  • http://www.olajkk.hu CSabesz

    We are very happy he joined our favourite Hungarian basketball team. ( Szolnoki Olaj KK) In the pre-season we could see his best form. He is a very good shooter and will surely motivate young players.

    Do you have any special information about him?

  • Skeez

    Dime yall pulled out a good one with this cat. I followed Darius all through college, summer league stints, and watched that NBDL chamionship game. But since then he’s fell off the face of the earth….. until now. Thanks

  • http://www.olajkk.hu CSabesz

    There are some informations about the HUngarian pre-season:

    http://www.bb1.hu/tartalom/cikk/1321_tovabbra_is_huckaby_a_legponterosebb

    Darius played 7 matches and he scored 26,42 point in average.

    The championship is going to start on the 3rd of October.

    You can find some videos about the fans of Szolnoki Olaj:

    http://www.youtube.com/csabesz

  • doc

    Him and Darius Miles look like they had the same game since the Mcdiks game.

  • Russ

    I went to UM and was in acting class with him and graduated in 04 with him! Funny kid

  • jay

    ya where are they now?? d rice or dmiles…that class be it draft or mcdonalds was a joke..a lot of hype and no substance..not sure if it was talent and no work ethic but either way…hype no substance!!! nuff said!!!

  • Xrazie_thug

    He played here in the Philippines for two seasons. D-Rice was greatly offensively as he would average around 30-40ppg, but was a defensive liability despite his size and length. He got waived before his team could enter the semifinals of the pro league here.

  • Xrazie_thug

    mean *great*

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    If his shot was on, he was nice. When it wasn’t, he brought nothing else to the table. Not surprising a yet another small forward with an aversion to rebounds, post work AND ‘D’ couldn’t stick.

  • http://www.btv.com.ph sh!tfaced

    if you suck playing hoops in the philippines, then you really really suck playing at playing hoops.

  • http://www.btv.com.ph sh!tfaced

    where the hell is big country? the player, not the band…

  • http://www.olajkk.hu CSabesz

    Hungary is situated in Central and Eastern Europe.

  • CSabesz

    Rice dunk-last Saturday. Assist from Thomas Kelley:

    http://www.olajkk.hu/

    the video is the bottom of the page