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Fans go the extra mile to see Clarke play

By Ray Martin Published: March 6, 2008
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Thousands of fans will pour into State Fair Arena this week to get a glimpse of Verdigris guard Rotnei Clarke before his high school career comes to an end.

None of those fans, however, is more devoted than Erin Whitlock and her family.

Whitlock, who is from Clayton, and her daughters, Bailey Scarberry and Macy Parks, have traveled across Oklahoma on numerous occasions to see Clarke throughout the postseason.

They have ventured to Verdigris, Sperry, Skiatook and now the State Fairgrounds to watch Clarke. Each game is more than a six-hour round trip from Clayton, and after Thursday, Whitlock and her girls will have spent more than 21 hours in the car, traveling more than 1,300 miles.

"I'd go to Canada to watch him if I could,” Scarberry, Whitlock's oldest daughter said.

Before Verdigris' area finals matchup with Adair, during which Clarke broke the Oklahoma career scoring record, Whitlock waited in line for more than five hours to get a front-row seat to witness history.

"I got the seat I wanted,” Whitlock said. "I wanted to sit where I could best see him break the record. I took pictures and got it on video.”

The family first saw Clarke at the Eastern Junior College tournament in Wilburton, where Class A Clayton upset Verdigris 71-66.

Scarberry, 12, begged her mom to take her to see more of Clarke.

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