Among the 48 countries competing in the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship is the triumphant story of the inaugural Jamaican team, including starting midfielder Mark Darden ’17. The world games, set to take place in July in Netanya, Israel, will bring together countries from six continents to play for the competitive international title.
Darden joined the Jamaican team during the 2017 International Lacrosse Showdown played at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. According to the Jamaican Lacrosse Association President Calbert Hutchinson, the tournament gave the players the opportunity to connect with and support their Jamaican roots.
“My great grandmother and my maternal grandmother were born in Kingston, Jamaica and eventually moved to Brooklyn, N.Y.,” says Darden, who has been training while working full-time as an accounting and finance recruiter with Aston Carter. “I’m excited to represent my country and to hopefully inspire young kids of color to play lacrosse.”
At Aston Carter in Baltimore, Md., Darden’s responsibilities include finding quality candidates for his clients. Darden collaborates across departments to align goals, skills and interests to determine the right fit.
“Hobart and William Smith did an excellent job preparing me for my future,” says Darden, who majored in media and society with a minor in American studies. “I’ve learned numerous life skills that I will continue to use throughout my professional career.”
The recipient of the Dean James Henderson ’75 Award of Merit who studied abroad in Wales, Darden says receiving the honor affirmed his dedication to his studies as much as to his time with the Statesmen.
“Balancing the academics and a Division I schedule was a huge commitment,” he says. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, teammates and fellow students.”
In the classroom, Darden says his favorite course was his senior seminar on the “Films of Spielberg” with Professor Emeritus of Media and Society Lester Friedman. He says he also enjoyed the courses “Music at the Movies” and “Ghettoscapes.”
He’s also proud to have followed in his father’s footsteps. Darden’s father, Mark “Skip” Darden III ’87, P’17 was a four-time lacrosse letter winner at Hobart, helping the Statesmen win National Championships in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.