A special player, in a league of his own... His love for basketball has led him to continue playing the game to this very day, at age 45! His story, though, begins several years back.
He was born on June 21st, 1966 in New York City. He graduated from Baylor University for which he played (1984-88). In 1988 he was drafted at No68 by the Atlanta Hawks (on the third round), but he did not stay in the USA. He made his first stop in his career in Turkey playing for Çukurova Sanayi (1988-89), continued to Italy and Aresium Milan (1989-91), only to find a nesting place in Spain: Girona (1991-92), Caja San Fernando (1992-94), Barcelona (1994-96), back to Girona (1996-98), Bandalona (1998-99), and Girona once again (1999-2000). Panathinaikos came to his life in 2000 to become the team with which he would remain for the longest stretch of consecutive seasons, between 2000 up until 2005. A health problem benched him in the middle of the 2004-05 season and practically ended his career with the “Greens”. His love for basketball, however, proved bigger than any problem and having overcome his health issue he returned to basketball courts starting with Dynamo Saint Petersburg (2005-06), and then Girona came back to his life (2006-to date) with a brief interval in 2011 when he put on the Valencia jersey.
Darryl is a team player, loved by every coach, and an ideal mentor to younger players. Upon arriving to Panathinaikos in 2003, Mike Batiste found in Darryl Middleton the ideal person to advise and guide him, and to this day he mentions in every opportunity he gets the decisive role Darryl had in making him understand Zeljko Obradovic’s mindset about European basketball and, ultimately, life itself. Standing a 2.03 tall, he was able to send opponents much taller than him out of commission thanks to his strength, brains and more importantly his fighting spirit, as the words “give up” simply do not exist in his vocabulary. He has been named three times Spanish championship MVP (1992, 1993, and 2000) and has won the Spanish championship title (Barcelona 1995, 1996). He has won the FIBA Eurocup (Girona, 2007), but the biggest accolade in his career came with Panathinaikos as he became European champion in 2002 in Bologna. Not only that, but he also won four Greek championships (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005) and two Greek cups (2003, 2005).
He is a special case and definitely a special player who underlines every chance he gets the bond that he still has with Panathinaikos, as he never loses the opportunity to visit the team every time the “Greens” play in Spain.