Nick Canelas is the newest writer for the Maroon Musket web site and will be covering the men's basketball team this season. His first post is a story on freshman Donte Clark.
If Donte Clark wanted to play basketball last year, he had to do it like any other University of Massachusetts student would: by finding a pickup game at the recreation center.
Donte Clark sat out last season as an academic nonqualifier at UMass last season. (Photo Courtesy Daniel Malone/MassLive.com)
So that's exactly what he did.
But it didn't take long for others to figure out that the 6-foot-4 shooting guard was more than just your average pickup player.
"They definitely knew I wasn't a regular student when I was out there playing," he said.
For Clark, dominating his peers was just a way to get his basketball fix, filling the void created by watching his future UMass teammates make a run to the NCAA tournament.
Once a highly touted recruit, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native came to UMass as a nonqualifier after failing to meet the academic requirements to attend Virginia Tech - the school he originally committed to. By rule, Clark wasn't allowed to play or practice last season, limiting him to a mere spectator while the Minutemen were on the court.
"It was definitely difficult to watch," Clark said. "I got tired of sitting there, watching everybody play. I was pretty impatient so I wanted to get back out there."
Fortunately for Clark, that wait finally ended on Saturday when the Minutemen officially began practicing full-time in preparation for the 2014-15 season. And he's already caught the attention of his coaches and teammates.
Read the entire story here...