Glover prepares to put on Vikings uniform

THOMAS ELNESS

tkelness12@ole.augie.edu

He’s a Breck Mustang, Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knight, Kent Lion, Saint Michael’s Purple Knight, Howard Pulley Panther, and most recently, an Augustana Viking.

Darren Glover, or “D. Glove” (@OfficialDGlove) as his music followers know him as, is a first-year sophomore at Augustana.  The 6’4,” 190 lb. athlete seems to have been everywhere and done everything.

“I grew up in New Jersey; I was born in Manhattan.  Played local basketball in New Jersey, moved to Minnesota in 1999,” Glover said.  “I transferred from Breck School to Benilde-St. Margaret’s.  I got to play with Jordan Taylor, got second in state, won state my sophomore year.”

For Darren, basketball isn’t a new adventure, “I started playing basketball when I was like one or two.  I was the kid in the crib with the basketball and the hoop.”

A few things have impacted Darren’s life since the diaper-uniformed basketball days.

“I had a knee surgery in May of my junior year right before that summer, which is like the most important summer for recruitment,” Glover noted. “I decided to go to prep school out in Connecticut at Kent. I called up Coach [Jason] Coulombe out there.  I didn’t know anything about prep school; I thought it was for bad behavioral issues.”

Glover didn’t go for behavioral issues.  He needed a year to build on his basketball curriculum vitae.  “It was either junior college or prep school.  I had always just heard about it in the basketball world, playing against the Austin Rivers, all these people that are going to the NBA are all people that I’ve played against.  I’m always hearing about them going to these prep schools, so we looked into it.”

Glover continued to develop as a basketball player and as a person, in the meantime, attracting offers from several schools.  “I got [a] scholarship offer from St. Michael’s College in Vermont.  I took that and was there all last year.”

The season started out with Glover tweaking his ankle and miscommunication which ultimately led to Glover playing in two games for a combined four minutes, recording one shot attempt.

“I kind of had difficulties with the coach and the program.  The school was not as great as I thought it might be, so I started looking at other colleges back closer to home, within a car distance away, not flying out to who knows where.”

Glover noted that he is going to try to recover last year’s season of NCAA eligibility.

The school search process ensued once again for Glover.  All too familiar with the process by this point, he sought out a different school to round out his collegiate basketball days.

“I knew Augustana graduate assistant coach [Hans] Hoeg, because his first year coaching was up at [Benilde-St. Margaret’s].  I called one of the coaches at [Benilde-St. Margaret’s] and he said, ‘Hey, coach Hoeg is the assistant at Augustana, you should call him up.’  We had a couple of conversations and I set up a time to come for a visit.”

“In the spring, I came down and met with (Augustana head coach) [Tom] Billeter.  I loved it so much, the next week I stormed into my coach’s office at [St. Michael’s] and said, ‘I think I’m leaving.  I’ve found a better place to play basketball.”

“We like his height and his size,” head coach Tom Billeter said about his new transfer guard.  “He’s a great kid.”

Going through hardships has been annealing process for Glover.

“I think that’s what makes me a more mature player than just a sophomore basketball player,” Glover said.

I’ve been going through surgeries, and ten months of sitting out, going to all of these places and seeing all of these people…fighting through all these little stupid adversities.

It makes me mentally stronger so when things happen during the year, when things may not be going our way, I’m not as stressed as some players might be that haven’t gone through all these jumps and bruises.”

Just over a month into the school year, the Augustana coaches haven’t had a chance to see Glover much on the court, but graduate assistant Hans Hoeg said, “We see Darren as one of our best defenders.”

Hoeg connected with Glover in the recruiting process because of a high school connection. Hoeg, Glover’s high school assistant coach, checked back with Benilde-St. Margaret’s coaches.  “We were in need of a guard and they knew Glover was looking to leave,” Hoeg said.

“He was the first name on their list.  They think very highly of him.”

The coaches have high expectations of Glover and the rest of the incoming class.

As for the music, freshflows.com published D. Glove’s mixtape “Blessed” to their website on Sunday night.  The 11-song collection may put Glover ahead in the music world.

Glover’s songs are viewable at: http://www.freshflows.com/618-d-glove-blessed-mixtape.html

Darren Glover is finally home.

“To come here it’s really nice.  Being around here and talking to people, everybody supports what you’re doing.  Everybody is so much friendlier than what it was at my old school.”