Merrillville graduate Brandon Clark has had a stellar career at Santa Clara. He was not highly recruited coming out of the Northwest Indiana school. (Image from SantaClaraBroncosBlog.com)
It’s not easy landing a basketball scholarship. That’s no secret. There are a few hundred thousand students across the country that play high school basketball every year, all hoping for a chance to play college basketball. Coaches and scouts travel all summer in hopes of recruiting the best players to join their programs. Of course coaches can’t see every player which is why recruiting websites like Indiana Basketball Source become great tools to help evaluate talent. But even with more information available every season some players still get overlooked.
One of those players is former Merrillville Pirate Brandon Clark. Indiana Basketball Source ranked Clark as the 40th best prospect from Indiana in the class of 2011 when Clark was a senior. While he showed glimpses of high level play, the chances of him attracting NCAA DI interest was slim. Even playing on a loaded SYF AAU roster with the likes of Mitch McGary, Branden Dawson and Merrillville teammate Jeremiah Jones, Clark struggled to find a DI scholarship.
Until Kerry Keating came along. The head coach of Santa Clara University saw something he liked in the now senior guard and offered him a scholarship. Playing at the Alma Mater of NBA All-Star Steve Nash, Clark came off the bench his first two seasons before taking over a starting spot as a junior. He was the second leading scorer last season for the Broncos at 16.9 ppg while earning WCC All-Conference Honorable Mention. He also led the team in assists (116), steals (46) and free throw percentage (.868%).
Through the first three games of his senior season, Clark is leading Santa Clara in scoring at 20.3 ppg and assists at 6.0 apg. He went off for 31 points in the first game of the season, a win over Cal. State-Fullerton. He followed that up with 21 points and nine assists, just missing a double-double, but did earn WCC Player of the Week as a result of two great games.