Gary Clark Appreciation
On Sunday it will be forward Gary Clark’s last home game for the Cincinnati Bearcats. It kind of doesn’t seem fair that a player with the qualities and traits on and off the court isn’t playing his last game at Fifth Third Arena, but player’s like Clark are the reason the arena is being refurbished. You want more players like Gary to join your program and you need shining (legit) things to lure them in.
Since stepping on campus he has been a starter and he has contributed since day one. It has been cool to see him go from a player who could only score posting up, getting garbage points and making himself a threat off the ball around the basket. The senior from Clayton, North Carolina has always been a threat on defense a.k.a. one of the reasons I’m pretty sure he came to Cincinnati. He played important minutes and even got called for a big reach in foul in his first Crosstown Shootout that eventually costed his team the game, but the young man didn’t sulk he just continued to get better.
He developed a face up game even expanding to the three point line during his sophomore season. He knocked down 13 three point attempts shooting 52% from long range after not making any of his five attempts the previous season. Clark already was a willing passer, with his low post game already solid added a face up made him a nightmare on both ends of the court. He won AAC Defensive Player of the Year after being in the top tier in rebounds, blocks and steals.
He has embodied what Mick Cronin has wanted at this program just go look at video of Gary getting his tooth chipped against UConn. He has hit game winners, grabbed huge rebounds, blocked dunks and went coast to coast after a steal, the young man is a baller. If you haven’t watched the special Fox 19 please watch it (link). This guy isn’t an act he has always shown me respect in my dealings with him, he’s a guy everybody roots for unless you are the opponent.
#BearcatNation needs to show him some love because we won’t get to see him wear Black and Red much longer. Other players will be waiting to fill the void left by Clark, but most of us won’t understand how much this young man has meant to the program until it is too late.
The 5th player to join the 1,000 points/1,000 rebounds club
Karl Malone Award Power Forward of the Year Finalist
Citizen Naismith Trophy Late Season Team
Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List
Lute Olson Player of the Year Watch List
Senior Class Award Candidate