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In Your Face with Keydren Clark

January 4, 2003 Columns No Comments


In Your Face with Keydren Clark

by Adam Shandler


This Edition: Keydren Clark, Freshman Point Guard, St. Peter’s

So far, Keydren “Kee Kee” Clark has been saying “Take that!” to college coaches who passed him over on their recruiting visits. The 5-8 freshman point guard from New York’s Rice High School has been lighting up the national stat sheets, and at the time of this interview, Clark was tied for 4th in the nation in scoring with an average of 24.9 ppg.

Photo by A.Shandler
Keydren Clark


I caught up with Kee Kee after a recent non-conference win over Hofstra at St. Peter’s Yanatelli Center. Clark played the full 40, scoring 17 points and dishing out 7 assists. We chatted about his recent accomplishments, the striking similarities between business and basketball management and the new Jay-Z album.

Adam Shandler: So what’s in your CD player right now?

Keydren Clark: Jay-Z, The Blueprint 2.

AS: Hoopville’s never had a music reviewer. You’ll be our first. Tell us what you think about the album.

KC: Oh, it’s the hottest thing out right now. I listen to it before every game because I can really relate to the lyrics. It gets me in the mood to play a game and just keeps my adrenaline going.

AS: You’re a 5-8 freshman who is one of the top five scorers in all of college basketball. I guess it’s safe to say that you exceeded your expectations so far.

KC: Yeah, it’s just a case of hard work paying off. Coming in as a freshman, I didn’t really expect to score much at all, but I made sure during the summer and just before the season to find ways to contribute. The rest of this team lets me get great opportunities to shoot and slash to the basket. I’m glad they let me do that as a point guard.

AS: And I’m sure your coaching staff has no problems with you giving yourself the call every now and again, too.

KC: I was a little surprised when they told me that I could control the game as much as I could. But I don’t go in to every game saying I need to score a certain amount of points. I just need to control the game for our team and get myself involved as much as I can.

AS: You were a big part of Rice High School’s 29-2 season last year, won the New York Catholic School title, the New York State Federation title and earned a Number 6 ranking in USA Today’s final high school poll. Yet you were not heavily recruited. Why’s that, you think?

KC: I was probably under-recruited because of my height. I was also a shooting guard in high school and didn’t handle the ball as much, so most college coaches probably felt that I wouldn’t be able to handle the transition. I guess they weren’t looking for a 5-8 shooting guard. But I’ve been doing a lot of shooting as a point guard here, so it’s working out for me.

AS: The MAAC is having a very good weekend. Iona upset North Carolina last night and Manhattan knocked off St. John’s in the ECAC Holiday Festival. (Manhattan would eventually defeat Iona for the tournament title.) Is this a sign of things to come for this conference this year?

KC: The MAAC conference is no joke. Iona is a very tough team — a lot of people don’t know that — and Manhattan has always been one of the better teams in the conference, and we beat them. We’re all going to come out ready to play each game, and on any given day, one team could beat another.

AS: What’s your major?

KC: Business Management.

AS: Is that anything like basketball management?

KC: It’s quite similar. You’ve gotta be able to control what’s going on in your organization and make sure that everyone is where they’re supposed to be, doing what they’re supposed to be doing at the right time. You also have to work as a part of a team in both areas and make sure everyone has the same goals.

If only there were more CEOs like you, Kee Kee.

     

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