Keith Clark, ranked as the No. 19 player in the class of 2006, demonstrated why he is highly regarded with his performance against the New York Gauchos at the recent 16-under AAU Nationals in Houston. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound small forward from Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City, Okla., did a little bit of everything for his Athletes First team.
The aggressive and brash New York Gauchos stuck with their zone full-court press the entire game, but in the middle consistently passing the ball through the press was Keith Clark. He also controlled the boards, played strong inside, and scored inside and outside, finishing with 20 points in a surprisingly lopsided 23-point win.
Clark’s performance was enough to open up any scout's eyes, and he already has the attention of four Big 12 schools.
“My schools are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Texas,” Clark said. “Those are the ones that are talking to me.”
Clark is not set on a school. In fact, no offers have been extended, but he does know that he wants to play in the Big 12.
“There is a lot of competition and challenges in the Big 12,” he said. “Not just any player can play in it. You have to have fundamentals and have game. It is a very physical conference.
“That is why I am hitting the weights and working on getting tougher. I also hope to play small forward, so I am working hard on my ball-handling.”
Coaches will get a good look at Clark during the upcoming Nike All-American Camp. Although passing and handling the ball are the weaker parts of his game, Clark, as mentioned, did a wonderful job against the Gauchos' pressure. What Clark can do every night is score and rebound. If he rounds out his game with better ball skills and a consistently focused effort every night on the court, he could be one of 2006's elite prospects.