As it turns out, star point guard Stephen Clark won’t spend his senior season at Douglass after all.
According to his mother, Dorshell Clark, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound scoring machine flew out Saturday morning to Las Vegas, where he will attend Quest Preparatory Academy for his final year before entering college next summer, in a story originally reported by ESPN.com.
Stephen Clark had toyed with the idea of graduating early and enrolling in college this summer. While his academics were in order, he felt like he didn’t have enough time to make the proper decision. His options were limited as well, with only a few of the nearly 30 programs recruiting him having an open scholarship spot for the coming year.
The idea of leaving Douglass was prompted in May, when coach Terry Long, a lifelong friend of the Clark family, left the school to become the head coach at Mustang.
“I think Stephen still had his mind made up that he wanted to leave since Terry wasn’t going to be there,” Dorshell Clark said. “He told me he had nothing else to prove here. He didn’t want to win another title without Terry.”
Clark was the leading scorer the last three seasons for Douglass, which won the Class 4A state championship each season. Clark averaged 25 points and 11 assists per game as a junior, earning The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Player of the Year honor, among other notable awards.
He is being recruited by top programs in the state and across the country, from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, to Kentucky, UCLA and Connecticut. He believes Quest Prep gives him the opportunity to play against more and better competition on a national level to prepare himself for the college game.
“He told me he wants to go play against the best guys out there, and that wasn’t going to be there at Douglass,” Dorshell Clark said. “He deserves to get what he thinks he needs to get to the next level.”
Quest Prep is in its first year of existence. Stephen and Dorshell Clark visited the new campus two weeks ago.
“It’s a brand new place, and they painted a really pretty picture,” Dorshell Clark said. “They want Stephen to be the face of their program.
“He really likes the idea of being away from everybody back here. He feels he can go somewhere and focus on his game. No friends, no girls distracting him.”
Clark’s family will remain in Oklahoma City, including his younger brother, Deondre Clark, a highly recruited football player at Douglass.
Deondre Clark, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior defensive end, already has at least a dozen offers, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, LSU and Missouri.
Dorshell Clark said they have arranged it with Douglass so Stephen can return to graduate with his classmates in May. He had already passed the proper credits to qualify for graduation earlier this summer.