With the stress of the recruiting process weighing down on the family last week, Dorshell Clark turned away college basketball coaches' requests to come to the family's home to visit with her son, Douglass point guard Stephen Clark.
“But our church door is always open,” Dorshell told them.
As the Clarks arrived at church last Sunday morning, Missouri coach Frank Haith and one of his assistants were walking in. When the family entered the building, they saw Oklahoma State's Travis Ford and his coaching staff seated on the front row.
There is no day off from recruiting for Stephen Clark, who has been a hotly pursued prospect over the last two years.
His first scholarship offer, from Marquette, came shortly after his freshman year at Douglass, and the process has only gained steam since then. But it could be coming to an end this week, with the opening of the early signing period for basketball players set to open Wednesday.
Oklahoma State and Baylor have emerged as leaders in pursuit of Clark. The family hasn't set a specific timeline for a decision, only to say it's coming “soon,” as they battle through the rigors of the recruiting process.
“It's been overwhelming, and it's been a learning process,” Stephen said. “I can't run from anything. I've got to deal with it. It's made me grow as a person.
“The toughest part has been telling coaches ‘No.' You know you can only go to one school. They might have great coaching staffs and great facilities, but I've got to do what's best for me.”
For instance, he has built extremely strong relationships with Marquette's Buzz Williams and new Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, but other factors, like distance from home, have worked against those schools.
Clark was The Oklahoman's Super 5 Player of the Year last season after averaging 25 points and 11 assists per game. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound guard says Oklahoma State and Baylor top his list, two places that have had success recently with smaller guards.