Belmont basketball alumna Darby Maggard signed a contract to play for the Liffey Celtics in Kildare, Ireland on Monday.
The 2019 Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Athlete of the Year and four-time conference champion has had incredible success in her four years at Belmont. She averaged 15.2 points per game, shot 43 percent from behind the arch and shot an astounding 92 percent from the free-throw line. Maggard’s next challenge will be adjusting to the world of professional basketball as well as the adventure of playing outside of the United States.
“Obviously there are a little bit of nerves just for anything new,” said Maggard. “I’m going to go in there with an open mind and I’m ready to work hard and do my part to be the best teammate, the best person and the best player I can be.”
Looking back on her college career, Maggard says her passion and love for the game set her apart from others and hopes that same passion will carry into her rookie season in the Irish Women’s Super League.
“The game gives me so much joy and there’s a passion I have when I play and I think that’s something that really stands out when I play. I hope I continue to feel that way and to bring that joy into everything I do,” said Maggard.
The Bruin superstar also credits the experiences and the work she put on the court in preparing her for this huge opportunity.
“Getting to play the top competition every single year and going to four NCAA Tournaments where you have to bring it to those games, I think that’s prepared me just to get over there and play,” said Maggard.
Through the process, Maggard relied on the support of her family, teammates and coaching staff to help her find the best fit. Belmont women’s basketball assistant coach Christine Clark played overseas in Italy from 2014 to 2016, so she gave Maggard first-hand advice when it came to picking the right team.
“She was so helpful helping me be patient and understand that it’s going to come. It’s a process, but finding the right pick is most important,” said Maggard.
What Maggard is most excited for is to be able to enrich herself in another culture and get the opportunity to travel, which since her mission trip to Rio San Janiero, Brazil, with the women’s basketball team, she’s grown to love.
“It’s something new, it’s different,” said Maggard. “Being able to go to a different place and see a different culture and be completely immersed in that culture for eight months, that’s what I’m most excited about.”
Photo by Carina Eudy.