Darion Clark Invests in His New Home
Feb. 4, 2014
Darion Clark has always known how to rebound.
Playing his senior season at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, Clark helped capture the school's eighth National Championship with a staggering 44-0 record. His size, athleticism, and dominance at the rim made him a standout recruit at forward.
One of his strongest suitors at the time was Andy Enfield, then at Florida Gulf Coast University. Enfield strongly recruited Clark throughout high school, and thought his athleticism would be a perfect fit for a fast-paced system.
Clark elected to play for UNC Charlotte, and started 18 games his freshman season, averaging more than 6 points and 4 rebounds per game for the 49ers.
But as, the season progressed, Clark began to reconsider his decision to play in Charlotte. Once Enfield decided to take the USC coaching position, a perfect storm had emerged.
"Most guys transfer down or transfer across, and I have the really great opportunity to transfer up," said Clark. "Coach Enfield has always been good to me. I felt like I should have been playing for him at Florida Gulf Coast, and I didn't want to make that mistake again."
Darion Clark became the first recruit of the Enfield Era last May.
His transfer made him ineligible to play this season, but he has wasted no time making the Trojans proud. While his teammates are battling PAC-12 foes, Clark has invested in his new community.
With a positive attitude and contagious energy, Clark has joined his teammates in outreach efforts for the past several months. His highlights off the court start with a visit to 99th Street Elementary in Watts, CA as a part of USC's SCORE Initiative. He spoke with local kids about academics, health, teamwork, and community responsibility before cheering them on at their basketball practice on the blacktop.
In January, he hosted a basketball clinic for Cub Scouts with three other teammates. His friendly pointers and humor made him a favorite among the young participants.
Clark has three years of eligibility remaining, and coaches and fans alike can't wait for him to step into a system designed for his playing style next season. But for now, Clark has proven to be a perfect fit in the Trojan system beyond the hardwood.