Words that appear on Stevie Clark's new website — difference maker, servant-leader and giver.
Words that don't — suspended, arrested and dismissed.
The latest chapter in the Stevie Clark drama is playing out online. Over the weekend, a website touting the former Oklahoma State point guard was launched. It is called IAmStevieClark.com, and it highlights “The Person”, “The Player” and “The Point”.
“The purpose of this site,” it says in the section titled “The Point”, “was developed to highlight Stevie Clark as a person with a vision and a plan to reach his full potential and add value in ALL environments.”
I've read that sentence half a dozen times, and in all seriousness, I'm not entirely sure what it means. Seems like a decent amount of mumbo jumbo.
But I have a pretty good idea what the website means: Clark is trying to rehab his reputation.
Hard to blame him. The fall has been fast and furious.
Rewind to this time last year, and Clark was the biggest thing going in Oklahoma high school basketball. Then in his senior season at Douglass, he was in the midst of a historic season. He would score his 3,000th career point, joining an elite club. He would finish with 3,312 points, ranking fifth in state history. And he would lead the Trojans to their fourth consecutive state title.
Clark was a sight to behold in that championship game. He scored 51 points, and he did it in every way imaginable. Driving to the basket. Pulling up in transition. Getting to the free-throw line. Hitting threes.
He had nine 3-pointers that afternoon at State Fair Arena, and a bunch of them were from deeeeeep.
The estimate on one of them: 35 feet.
Clark had the basketball world at his feet, and when Marcus Smart announced a month or so later that he was returning to OSU, it seemed like a great situation for Clark. Play alongside Smart. Learn from Smart. Then when Smart left Stillwater, Clark would be ready to be a star.
That vision unraveled over a 10-week period this season.
In late November, Clark was suspended by Travis Ford and sent home from Florida for violating team rules. Then on Jan. 1, he was arrested in Edmond for possession of marijuana. Then on Feb. 2, he was arrested in Stillwater on a complaint of “outraging public decency”; Stillwater police arrested him after receiving a call about a man urinating out of a vehicle window.
The next day, Clark was booted from the team.
He went from one of the most sought-after recruits in the country to a castoff freshman trying to find a soft landing spot.
There's talk that he could follow his younger football-playing brother, Deondre, to LSU. Deondre indicated as much when he signed with the Tigers earlier this month, saying that the LSU basketball team was interested in Stevie.
Maybe that will all work out, but the launch of IAmStevieClark.com would seem to indicate that more rehab might be necessary. Having three off-court issues during the course of a career is a lot. Having them in less than three months is a serious red flag.
I mean, after being suspended then arrested, wouldn't most players do everything in their power to keep their nose clean?
Instead, Clark gets arrested for peeing out a car window.
That doesn't mean he's a bad person, but at a minimum, he's acted like a knucklehead. And unless Clark had shown himself to be the second coming of LeBron, coaches are going to think long and hard about taking a chance on a proven dimwit.
Hence, the website. It highlights Clark's community service, including reading to children and serving meals to the homeless. It chronicles his athletic accomplishments. It shows lots of pictures of him in happier, better days.
What the site doesn't include is anything from Clark about what went down at OSU. No explanation. No apology.
You want to start to change the perception that people have about you? Come clean about everything that happened. Say that there's no excuse for the bad behavior. Insist that you've learned your lesson. Promise that you'll do everything to make the most of the next opportunity given to you.
If he addressed those issues, it wouldn't guarantee that his reputation would be rehabbed. But ignoring them all but guarantees that questions and concerns will remain. Ignoring them raises the question whether Stevie Clark has learned anything at all.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni Carlson can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.