Daryl Macon achieved a life-long dream Thursday afternoon when he signed with Arkansas.
The former Little Rock Parkview and current Holmes, Miss., Community College star shooting guard chose the Razorbacks over offers from Memphis, Ole Miss and Mississippi State during the summer, then made it official by signing his NLI at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.
“Sometimes it doesn’t feel real,” Macon said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and a lot of people said I couldn’t do. I’m finally making it happen.”
The signing comes less than 24 hours after Macon (6-4, 180) led Holmes to a 101-78 win over William Carey JV. He scored 27 points and had eight rebounds, both of which were team-highs for the Bulldogs.
After the game, he made the four-hour drive home so all of his family – about 60 members – could be in attendance for his big day.
“Signing in my hometown meant something to me,” Macon said. “I wanted to show how much I care for my state and my city.”
When Macon committed to Arkansas, several well-known programs – such as Kentucky, Louisville and Tennessee – started to show interest in him, but he knew he wanted to play for the Razorbacks.
“Ever since I was little, I said I wanted to play for Arkansas,” Macon said. “The relationship I have with Coach (Mike Anderson) and his staff is like no other.”
In Macon, Arkansas is getting a talented player with college experience. As a freshman at Holmes, he averaged 23 points per game, which ranked sixth in the junior college ranks and earned him first-team All-American honors.
"Daryl has worked extremely hard to become one of the top scoring guards at the junior college level," Anderson said in a statement. "Being from Little Rock, Daryl is a true Razorback at heart. He has a knack for scoring, an excellent work ethic and a great amount of toughness. He has incredible basketball IQ, can score off the dribble and light it up from outside."
Through four games this season, Macon is averaging 26 points and six rebounds per game.
He said that his experience at the junior college level - and the qualities Anderson mentioned - will help him transition into playing against Southeastern Conference teams next season.
“I’ll already know how hard you have to work on the next level,” Macon said. “(I’ll also know) how physical the game is and how you have to be mentally strong and physically strong.”
The Razorbacks have inked two players so far during the early signing period, as Campti, La., Lakeview forward Adrio Bailey signed Wednesday.
Motlow, Tenn., College point guard Jaylen Barford and Connors, Okla., State power forward Arlando Cook plan to sign Friday.
Those four players are the only ones expected to sign with Arkansas during the week-long early signing period, but Macon said he hopes his friend and Bentonville, Ark., star Malik Monk will join what he already considers the “best recruiting class in 2016.”
Just the thought of playing for Arkansas excites Macon, but he knows he still has plenty of basketball to play at Holmes, where he thinks he can help the Bulldogs win a title.
“I’ve done pretty good, but they haven’t seen me at my best,” Macon said. “I’m shooting for the national championship.”