Athlete Update: Delvon Arrington

Former FSU point guard Delvon Arrington, the program's all-time career assist leader, is back in town after playing in the USBL. However, it's going to be a quick visit for Arrington, who is moving back to New Jersey with hopes of playing professionally in Europe. The personable Arrington chats about his USBL experience, reflects on his career with the Seminoles and shares his hopes for the program's future. "I really think he's (Leonard Hamilton) going to do a good job," Arrington said.

It's not a drive Delvon Arrington is looking forward to, but it's one that represents yet another chapter in his life.

Arrington, Florida State's all-time leader in assists at 668, is back in Tallahassee following a three-month stint in the United States Basketball League. Arrington's St. Joseph's Express was eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma Storm, coached by former NBA great Kareem-Abdual Jabbar.

Looking fit and relaxed, the personable Arrington is busy packing his belongings into a U-Haul for the trek back to his hometown of Hillside, N.J.

"I am not looking forward to that long drive," laughed Arrington, who plans to be on the road by Saturday. "My brother's down helping me pack, and we will split the drive. It won't be fun. Man, I can't wait to get that drive behind me."

Of course, Arrington hopes professional basketball at some level remains in his future. Arrington signed as a free agent with the St. Joseh's Express in May following his graduation from FSU.

Arrington played in the final 18 games of the season and averaged 3.5 points, 2.2 assist, 2.0 steals and 1.9 rebounds per game. He started the first game of his professional career, a 119-111 victory over the Florida Sea Dragons, and finished wth eight points, three rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes. He added five points and grabbed a professional career-high six rebounds in a victory over Oklahoma. He scored his season-high of 12 points in a 117-107 victory over the Kansas Cagerz June 7.

"I really thought it was a great experience for me, being able to play against semi-pro competition," Arrington said. "I think it really helped and added to may game. I had a good time. It gave me a lot of experience. It was different, too."

An obvious difference, Arrington said, was the approach at that level. There was not a strength coach reminding team members to stay conditioned and healthy. There was not an assistant coach reminding players to work on their games. There was not the good-natured camaraderie between players.

In other words, pro basketball is a business.

"You didn't have the luxury that you had here at school – I found that out quick," Arrington said. "That's where you need individual discpline. If you weren't pushing yourself, no one was. You could be sitting up in your room doing nothing for weeks and nobody would care. You have to have that mentality of pushing yourself .That's what I took from college to there, and I think I did a good job."

Once Arrington gets settled back in New Jersey, he hopes to sign a contract to play professionally overseas – possibly Spain or Finland. He's not quite ready to walk away from the basketball court.

"I am sending my agent some more (video) tape," Arrington said. "I should be on my way (to Europe) in mid-August. I love basketball, as everyone knows. I don't want to stop right now and want to prolong it as long as I can. Make the best of it. Travel and see where I can take this."

It doesn't seem that long ago when Arrington arrived on the FSU campus in 1997 from nationally renowned St. Anthony's High School. Arrington led his prep team to an incredible 81-1 record and three state titles during his three years as a starter. Of course, Arrington and the Seminoles never came close to duplicating that magic, suffering four consecutive losing seasons under coach Steve Robinson. The embattled Robinson was fired following the season and replaced by Leonard Hamilton.

"I really think he's (Hamilton) going to do a good job," Arrington said.

"I think he's the man for the job for this group of kids. They want to run up and down the court, and that's what he's going to give them. I think he's going to give them discpline, on and off the court, and that's what every team needs. I think he's going to be a person they respect and look up to, just because of his reputation and accolades. I really think this team will be a force just because of that."

When Arrington reflects on his FSU career, all he can do is shrug and offer a slight smile. Losing certainly took its toll on Arrington, who served as the team's emotional and vocal leader. Arrington also honestly believes Robinson should a better head coach because of his five years at FSU – Robinson was hired back at Kansas as an assistant coach under Roy Williams.

"It was always something, always one thing that hurt us through out the whole season," Arrington said.

"I think the upcoming years they will have every piece of the puzzle and once they get it all together, they will be fine. I also think him (Robinson) going back to Kansas was a great idea for him. Gives him more experience, to see some of the things that he was doing as a head coach here. And watching coach Williams, being in front of him, is going to help and give him experience. I am sure he's going to learn from the mistakes he made here and really take that and use them and improve on them if he decides to come back as a head coach."

Arrington stopped by FSU's weight room Tuesday afternoon for a quick workout. Arrington realizes that when he departs Saturday, it might be awhile before he steps back the Seminole campus. However, Arrington promises the road he will soon travel will end back up in Tally some day.

"I know I will be back here and get my master's – that's a promise I made to myself and my mother," Arrington said. "So, I will be back at some point. But right now I want to concentrate on playing basketball and seeing where that takes me. I am not ready to stop right now."


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