“A lot of this game is about building relationships, and that doesn’t just come quickly, especially when you’re dealing with 16-, 17-year-old kids,” Andrews said. “It’s been a long year, but it’s been a fun year. It’s been a year that I think everybody involved has learned and grown. Down the road, we’ll be able to reach back and appreciate this year.”
On Saturday afternoon, surrounded by reporters with a championship medal hanging around his neck, Clark couldn’t have been happier that he returned.
“I’m glad I came home and got it done,” he said. “This championship was the toughest, and that’s why I love this one the most.”
Thursday’s ankle injury didn’t hinder him much, and he only went to the bench once Saturday, after his younger brother, Deondre — who is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds — banged into him as both went for a rebound.
Stephen Clark went to the floor, banging his head hard and remaining on the court for a minute before walking to the bench.
“I thought I was done,” Stephen said with a smile. “I had a really bad headache. I laid there and thought about it, and was like, ‘We gotta finish it. We’re here, we gotta finish it out.’”
If anything has been learned about Stephen Clark in four years at Douglass, it’s that he always finishes — strong.
Very few high school players get to be a part of four consecutive championship teams, and even fewer are their team’s leading scorer each season, like Clark was.
Clark’s passion for basketball is unmistakable. Just moments after his last high school basketball game, he was already thinking about his first one in college.
“It’s a great feeling to know I finished with four state championships,” Clark said. “And I got to get another one with my little brother.
“Now I’ve got to get ready for Oklahoma State.”