June 13, 2006

Clark adding leadership to his skill mix (Part 1)

June 13, 2006 - Last season was more or less one of gaining recognition and trust for Jason Clark. As a 6-foot-2, 160-pound sophomore guard at Bishop O'Connell High School (Arlington, Va.), Clark emerged as the Knight's best player, who, by season's end, was basically their go-to guy, despite the team boasting three college-scholarship seniors. As with everything else, Jason took his elevation to prominence in stride.

For 2005-2006, Clark averaged 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per contest, all in 27.5 minutes a game. In addition to shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point land, Jason converted 81 percent of his free throws and garnered first-team All WCAC (O'Connell's local conference) and VISSAA (a conference of Virginia-based private schools) honors. Clark was even was named third-team All Met (Metropolitan D.C.) - the only sophomore to make any of the four All-Met teams.

The school's chief assistant coach, Ron Ginyard, indicated in a recent phone interview that before being entrusted with the responsibility of running O'Connell's show, Jason had to earn his chops so to speak. "He had to prove to himself, this teammates, and the staff that he could help us win" said Ginyard.

Clark did, and the team prospered. O'Connell finished 21-12, winning 11 of the last 12 contests between February 3 and March 4. That incredible success on court was achieved, in large part, after the team adopted and became comfortable with a four-guard, spread offense, in which the onus was placed upon Jason to attack the defense and find shooters or score himself.

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