We Like Obscure NBA Players: Darrin Hancock

Position: Guard-Forward ? Height: 6-7 ? Weight: 205 lbs.
Born: November 3, 1971 (Age 40) in Birmingham, Alabama
High School: Griffin in Griffin, Georgia
College: University of Kansas
Draft: Charlotte Hornets, 2nd round (11th pick, 38th overall), 1994 NBA Draft
NBA Debut: November 5, 1994

Many of the obscure NBA players we feature here on TNLP have had high expectations. Some have fallen short but there’s always that feeling that these players aren’t given enough credit for just making the NBA. It’s a long and arduous journey just to make it there even as a 12th-15th man but these players have made it. Darrin Hancock is no exception. He had a unique skillset and people were amazed by his talents and his feats that they had never seen before. Today we take a look back at his career:

People out in Georgia knew that they had something special in Hancock. He attended Griffin High School in Griffin Georgia and he would amaze the crowds and they would chant ‘Who-Rock Who-Rock, Hancock-Hancock!’. He would go on to be named Georgia High School Player of the Year twice and was also selected as a McDonald’s All-American in 1990. A comment on one of his youtube videos reads:

I have seen alot of high school basketball in my career. But I have never seen anybody do anything close to what he did back then. He once scored 50points at Vanguard in Ocala, Fl. Jumped over a guys head, hit his head on the rim and dunked with an opposing player grabbing his jersey.

He shifted gears a bit when he took his game to the college level and played out in Kansas for Garden City College and was named NJCAA Player of the Year after averaging nearly 22 points per game as a Sophomore. He would then transfer to the University of Kansas where he would be a part of a special Jayhawks team that reached the Final Four in 1993:

Following his one year at Kansas, he took his game overseas to France before returning to the states to play for the Charlotte Hornets, the team who drafted him as the 38th overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft.

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He saw very little playing time on a team that featured Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning but when he did play, he was efficient, shooting 56% in the 46 games he checked into which included 7 starts. He scored 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting in a game against the 76ers as a starter for the injured Scott Burrell.

Hancock was fortunate enough to appear in 3 of the 4 playoff games the Hornets played against the Chicago Bulls. The Hornets had a better regular season record than the Bulls that season but the return of Michael Jordan changed the landscape of things.

He was retained for the following season and saw a slight increase in playing time. He was also known for his high flying and was made fun of (in good fun) by teammates for being ‘afraid’ to join the dunk contest. His incredible first step and baseline drive dunk is on display here at number 9:

The Hornets failed to make the playoffs that season and the team and Hancock parted ways. He was picked up by the Milwaukee Bucks but was traded after playing 9 games for them. He was subsequently waived and played for the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs on 10-day contracts. He was able to get in some more playoff minutes with the Atlanta Hawks but once again, his team was taken down by the Chicago Bulls.

Over the next 8 years, Hancock would play in the CBA and USBL gain All-USBL team honors and 2003 Postseason MVP award. He remained connected to basketball and as recently as 2011, there was hope that he would return to basketball to play for the Atlanta Experience of the ABA.

Now at the age of 40 and having a long and impressive basketball résumé, he can look back at his career and be satisfied with what he has accomplished despite not playing for as long as he would have liked in the NBA. The No-Look Pass salutes Darrin Hancock.

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  1. SD

    During 1993-1994 first pro season in France, I remembrer a slam dunk contest where he jumped from the freethrow line over a seated guy !!!

  2. Barney Bonfield

    Check out this audio/video which I did many years ago. It features Charlotte teammate Larry Johnson getting on Darrin’s case for not participating in the slam dunk contest. Also, I called Darrin’s games on the radio at Griffin High and every game was a big event. There are three minutes of audio highlights which include some of his amazing dunks.



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