Darrell Arthur Spotlight

As the top remaining available player in the country, Darrell Arthur has the world at his fingertips. However, the 6-9 forward from Dallas isn't your ordinary hoops star and his fame on the court has put him in an interesting situation as he can't avoid attention while he tries to pick a college. Before that happens though, he's spending the week in San Diego while participating for the West Squad in the McDonald's All-American game.

According to Arthur, the shyness is something that he's always dealt with and he's working to come out of his shell and become more comfortable with the media.

"I guess you have to deal with the attention in college and if you make it to the NBA so it's a good learning experience, so I guess it's alright," says Arthur. "I've gotten a little better with it. Before I'd ever talked in front of a camera or a microphone or something like that it was real scary."

It isn't just a matter of being shy with the media either as Arthur admits to being more of a homebody.

"As a kid, I was like anti-social and stuff like that. I didn't really talk to anybody, I just kept to myself so I guess the shyness comes from my childhood," Arthur told Phog.net. "Now, I've gotten out and been more social with my teammates."

One way to get Arthur to open up is to ask him about his teammates at South Oak Cliff. The bouncy big man beams with pride while discussing he and his team's back to back state championships.

"It was very good to win it, in the playoffs we just snapped and came together and said we had the team to win the state championship," said Arthur of SOC's state run. "We just went out there and played our hardest."

Much of the satisfaction in winning the second state title came from the fact that many didn't feel they were capable of doing it. People questioned Arthur's desire and whether or not his guards could get the job done.

"A lot of people were like downing us and saying that we didn't have the guards to do it, but they were the same guards that took us there the first time," said Arthur. "We had experienced guards and the post players did what they had to do."

With his high school career over Arthur is enjoying the All-Star game circuit. He looks at the McDonald's game as a reward for his accomplishments and he appreciates the chance to play against the nation's best.

"It's more fun than high school ball because you are playing against all people who are the same level or better and it makes you want to play harder," said Arthur. "It's a good experience playing with people who are athletic, talented and the same height."

"The biggest thing I try to take from all of this is see how everybody plays so I can learn from it and add it to my game. On my team Spencer Hawes runs the court real well, KD (Kevin Durant) runs the court real well so I'm trying to get in the mix and stay with them."

While he's played against the kids on his team and the opposing East squad since middle school, the game will also offer up a chance for Arthur to go head to head with Lance Thomas. A bit of a rivalry has developed between the two over the last year and while it's nasty on the court, Arthur says it's all good once the buzzer sounds.

"We play hard, me and him know that we are going to be friends off the court but on the court we are enemies and we are going to give it all we've got," said Arthur of his battles with Thomas. "He's said some words about how on the court he has enemies but off the court he has friends and I'm the same way."

Now that he's defended his state championship and made the McDonald's All-American game, the only thing left for Darrell Arthur to do is make a college choice. It's something that's been wearing on him heavily and he'd like to get it over with -- in fact he jokes that the best thing about making a decision will be not having to talk about it anymore -- but it isn't an easy thing for him to do.

"Right now it's really just five schools, but my mom wants me to go to either Kansas or Texas so I'll probably just look at those two schools," Arthur told Phog.net. "Oklahoma, Baylor and Arizona are the others."

Having admitted that Kansas and Texas have emerged ahead of the pack, Arthur was careful not to tip his hand about leaning one way or another. However, he does realize that decision day is drawing near and when he returns home from San Diego he'll be trying to take the necessary steps to finalize his decision.

"I'm not leaning either way between Kansas and Texas," said Arthur. "I'm trying to sit down with my coaching staff and my granny and my mom some more so that we can talk about it.

"I hope to have a decision either right before or after the Roundball Classic."

Playing for the West team in San Diego, Arthur is an interesting situation. Playing alongside him are Sherron Collins who is heading to Kansas, Texas bound Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin and Baylor bound Demond Carter. Not surprisingly all of them are making their pitch.

"They've all been trying to make their pitches," said Arthur who will compete in tonight's dunk contest. "Sherron has been talking to me a lot. We were on our visit to Kansas together so we kind of know each other."

Try as they might, Arthur says that he won't let any of them talk him into his decision. It's going to be about finding the place that he feels the most comfortable and it is something that he hopes to figure out soon.

"Most important will be finding a school that's the best fit for me, I'm looking for the right coach to look after me like a father figure," said Arthur. "The team, I need to be able to be good around and cool with them."

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