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.
Of course, even if Clark had stayed at Douglass, OU and OSU would have been fighting all of those other schools for his services anyway, so the move doesn't change the landscape that much.
The impact of Clark's move will be felt far more locally on the high school level.
The Stephen Clark Show had become must-see basketball to high school hoop fans, so gyms will be a little less crowded this winter.
The Player of the Year race is suddenly wide-open, where Clark's name had previously been penciled in.
And the biggest wave will be felt at State Fair Arena in March. No longer is Douglass an overwhelming favorite for the Class 4A title, of which the Trojans have won the last three.
Don't count Douglass out, with new coach Anthony Andrews and a young, talented roster that likely will get a jolt of motivation from outsiders' doubt following Clark's departure.
But a dozen other teams that were previously hoping for a shot at the champ will now be playing for a shot to be the champ.
While the Big House will miss Clark's 35-foot jumpers and 40-point games, it shouldn't lack drama, and that's good news for just about everyone.