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High schools: Douglass' Stephen Clark making smooth transition

The Trojans' point guard is getting used to being a team leader, trying to make everyone on the team better.
by Scott Wright Published: December 25, 2011

Everything seems different for Stephen Clark.

Virtually all of the Douglass Trojan teammates he shared the basketball court with the previous two seasons have graduated.

He has gone from a situation where he was one of several players contributing points, or leadership, or toughness to being the guy his teammates often look to for those things. And he's doing it while making the transition from shooting guard to point guard.

The entire situation is a lot different and, in many respects, a lot tougher. But on the court, even when everything changes, it's all still the same for Clark.

“He's just a basketball player,” Douglass coach Terry Long said. “He's a natural, wherever he plays.

“He challenges himself. He listens. He watches film. He does what he's supposed to do.”

The last two years, Clark made a name for himself on a state and national level because of his scoring ability. But over the summer, he took his game to the next level by displaying his ability to play point guard, create his own shot, get in the lane or find the open man.

He played shooting guard at Douglass the last two seasons, because that's where Long needed him — not because that's all he could do.

“Because of his height, coaches always asked me, ‘can he play the point?'” Long said. “I told them all along that he can play it, but with what we had these last two years, we needed him out there on the wing shooting the ball.

“The only adjustment is that he's playing with some inexperienced guys now.”

Clark is confident in his playing ability, but he knew he would miss last year's seniors — particularly point guard DeVante Smith — when it came to the emotional aspects of the game.

“It's hard for me to get used to being a leader with DeVante not there,” Clark said. “I have to be the guy to make everybody else better. I have to keep everybody else's attitudes in check, when DeVante used to be the guy keeping me in check. So that's kind of hard for me.”

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by Scott Wright
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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