This time last year Darien Simmons was wide-eyed watching highlights just like everyone else when former Chino Hills (Calif.) star LaMelo Ball dropped 92 points in one game.
So on Tuesday night when Arundel Christian (Hanover, Md.) coach Derek Daniels informed Simmons during halftime that he’d already managed 44 points, Simmons wondered if he could potentially top Ball’s total.
In the end he fell two points short.
Simmons scored 90 points in a 112-60 win over Rockbridge Academy (Millersville, Md.).
“I had a goal to score 70 points in the game,” Simmons said. “I scored 50 points earlier in the season and I saw a kid in Virginia scored 60 points a few weeks ago so I wanted 70. I guess I scored a few more than that.”
Coming in to the game, Simmons was averaging 30.3 points per game.
He told his teammates about his goal prior to the game.
“They were all for it,” Simmons said. “I couldn’t have done it without their support. This is something I prepare for every day. I work really hard.”
This past summer, Simmons averaged 11 points per game with Team Takeover, which reached the Final Four of the prestigious Fab 48 in Las Vegas.
Since the big game, Simmons, a senior point guard, picked up his first offer from Virginia Union.
He’s also heard from Mount St. Mary’s, DePaul, Hampton and George Mason, among others, since then.
“It’s starting to pick up more,” Simmons said.
At 6-foot-2, Simmons is a wizard with the ball who excels at getting into the lane and finishing with the mid-range jump shot or floater.
Simmons only made six three-pointers in his 90-point outing.
“That’s not a big part of my game yet,” Simmons said. “I’m shooting 1,000 shots a day to get it better, but, for me, it’s just really easy to get past people.”
When asked if he’s got plans to top his 90-point total in Arundel’s game against Green Street Academy (Baltimore) tonight, Simmons laughed and said, “You never know.”
“When you put in work every day like I do you anything is possible,” Simmons said. “It’s honestly just believing that you can do it and I believe in me.”
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