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Clark lives his NBA dream

Apr 4, 2013
by Staff

The son of a Flagler College basketball legend has been living his dream working within the NBA.

J.P. Clark, ‘09, is working as an assistant coach for the NBA Developmental League’s Maine Red Claws, an affiliate of the Boston Celtics. Clark played for the Flagler men’s basketball team, and is son of Head Coach Bo Clark.

“Being able to work within the Celtics organization and with the Maine Red Claws has been a tremendous experience,” J.P. said.

“He did what he could to get his foot in the door and now this will be a great opportunity for him as a 26-year-old to work with a prestigious organization like the Boston Celtics,” Bo Clark said.

Coaching runs deep in the Clark family. Bo Clark is the University of Central Florida’s all-time leading scorer and was a three-time All-American in the 1970s. He has coached the Flagler Saints since 1982.

J.P. Clark’s grandfather, Torchy Clark, was UCF’s first men’s basketball head coach from 1969-1983 and led the team to 274 victories.

“Basketball is in our blood. The best way to put it is: basketball has been a great cornerstone for our family,” J.P. said.

After graduating, he joined the UCF staff himself as the assistant director of operations for the men’s basketball team.

He said he aspires to follow the example his father has set as both a coach and a person.

“Being able to grow up around my dad and his Flagler teams and see his work ethic and passion for coaching and the game of basketball on a daily basis is what really inspired me to coach,” he said. “My dad is the best coach I know and I hope to one day to follow in his footsteps.”

Clark has had the opportunity this season to work with players, handle scouting assignments and coach on the floor during practice and the games.

“The firsthand experience has been a great learning tool for me and I am trying to soak up all the knowledge that I can. Being able to interact with and help develop our players has been something I have really enjoyed,” he said.

This is one step toward achieving his dreams of following the family legacy and becoming a full-time basketball coach like his father and his grandfather. The only difference, though, is that he hopes to do so at the professional level.

“I am looking forward to listening and learning from some of the best coaches in the world,” he said. “I would love to continue to learn and help and maybe one day be a full-time coach in the NBA.”

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