High school basketball: Stephen Clark's decision to leave Douglass will impact many

Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been heavily recruiting the Douglass star, and while the Trojans still have plenty of talent, the three-time state champions are no longer the overwhelming favorite.
by Scott Wright Published: August 12, 2012
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We might be in the heart of preseason football practice, but it was the high school basketball world that got hit with a shock wave on Saturday, following the news that Douglass star Stephen Clark was leaving Oklahoma City to play his final year of high school ball at Quest Prep in Las Vegas.

Clark's choice to move was aimed at bettering himself against national competition, but the ripples of his decision are going to be felt all over the state. Places like Piedmont and Roland and Locust Grove, as well as Norman and Stillwater, for a very different reason.

Let's start with the recruiting angle.

If Clark is willing to leave for his final year of high school, he's clearly not tied to the state for college.

After receiving a scholarship offer from Lon Kruger at Oklahoma last winter, Clark seemed genuinely excited about the Sooners. But things faded between the two in the spring and summer, especially when Clark was considering reclassification. OU didn't have a spot to offer him, while some other big programs did.

One of those was Oklahoma State, and coach Travis Ford kept close tabs on Clark all along the way.

“Coach Ford never missed a step,” said Clark's mother, Dorshell Clark. “He was right there at all the camps and tournaments Stephen went to.”

But other programs, like Baylor, UCLA and Connecticut — the family has developed a close bond with UConn assistant Kevin Ollie — are in just as good a position with Clark, if not better.

Kentucky has gotten involved as well, though there hasn't been a scholarship offer. And there's still time for other schools to get in the mix, with no decision expected until after the season.


by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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