Clarke took Dunham under his wing during the season, showing the freshman the ropes at the Div. I level. And he came away extremely impressed.
“He’s special,” Clarke said. “That’s my guy.”
Dunham said he learned as much from Clarke off the court as he did on it, and Clarke sees big things ahead for the former Arabian.
“I prepared him as much as I could throughout the summer, and I think he’s going to have a huge sophomore year,” Clarke said. “He’s got a really bright future. I believe he’s going to be in the league some day, maybe not in school for all four years. We’ll see.”
For now, Clarke is focused on his own NBA future.
He’s worked out for two teams — the Pacers and Washington Wizards — and his agent expects as many as four or five more to call. Clarke would love an opportunity to work out for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and his thoughts often have gone back to his home state after the recent tornado destruction.
“I knew some people that were over in that area, but everyone that I’ve known is good,” he said. “It’s just devastating seeing that happen to your state, your home state, and it’s only about an hour and a half from where I’m from. You hate to see those people go through that, and I hope that when I have a chance I can get back there and help as much as I can.”
That would be easier to achieve with an NBA contract, and nobody will outwork Clarke in his efforts to receive one.
Clarke will let others debate his potential. All he can control is his effort during predraft workouts and his unwavering belief in himself.
“There’s a lot of things that people say, but I have the confidence I have the ability to play in the league,” he said. “I just have to find the right spot and find someone who believes in my abilities and hopefully land in a good place.”