Having Held His Own Against Shai Gilgeous Alexander Continues To Give Wes Clark (Niners Chemnitz) Massive Hope Of Reaching The Highest Level One Day

In The NCAA and even in Italy, Wes Clark (184-PG-1994, college: Buffalo) played against so many great point guards that that abundance was as much as Gary Coleman gave millions of TV viewers each week his infamous Who you talking about lines in every episode of the iconic American show Different Strokes. It wasn’t any different last week for Wes Clark as his team faced the Niners Chemnitz at home with top point guard diminutive TJ Shorts who is 10 centimeters shorter than him. The Niners Chemnitz had done a stellar job having a grip on the game for the first 3 quarters, but allowed the Telekom Baskets Bonn with Shorts at the helm to crawl back into the game as they allowed only 9 points in the last 10 minutes. ‘It wasn’t so much their defense, but we got rattled when times got tough. Their defense and pace sped up and we came up a big short’, stressed Wes Clark. With 2,31 minutes to play in the contest, the Niners Chemnitz were up 77-75, but the Telekom Baskets Bonn were pressing. Big time players come up big in pressure moments and that is exactly what TJ Shorts did scoring the last 3 buckets to give his team the impressive 81-79 victory on the road. It is only fitting that a small guy like Wes Clark has the utmost respect for an even smaller player. ‘TJ Shorts is a great player. I saw him the first time when he was playing for Hamburg. He was good then having that quickness and energy. But you see now how his game has evolved. He has that mid range shot down and that comes with experience. I tip my hat to him. He is having a big time season’, stated Wes Clark. Shorts had a typical day at the office with 23 points and 8 assists, but Clark also had a good game with 16 points. Having those usual battles against top guards is something he has had his whole life. He has held his own so many times including in his last NCAA game with Buffalo against Kentucky losing by 20 in the NCAA tournament. In the game future NBA star Shai Gilgeous Alexander had 27 points, but Clark held his own netting 26 points. Having an experience like this and others over the years in Italy against top players has kept him strong and heightened his confidence level knowing reaching the top level is possible. ‘The basketball world is so small. Once you reach that elite level, there are 60-80 guys with whom you know you can compete with. It isn’t all about skill. I have had chances to reach the highest level and believe that I still do. I believe that in the past if I had done certain things a bit better, I would of received more chances. You have to put in the work and know how to handle yourself. I had to grow up at the time where it could have been my time. I wasn’t mentally prepared to be in the NBA. I wasn’t prepared for a cake walk and walking into the millions’, remembers Wes Clark. Having held his own against Shai Gilgeous Alexander in the NCAA continues to Give Wes Clark (Niners Chemnitz) massive hope of reaching the highest level One Day.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber(head cut off a bit) and Shai Gilgeous Alexander in Boston in 2021

Wes Clark who lists undersized guard Stefan Moody of Ole Miss (NCAA as his toughest player to guard in the NCAA was born on December 12, 1994 in Detroit, Michigan. He began his basketball career at Romulus high school that gave the world John and Grant Long, Terry Mills and the Clyburn brothers Will and Kris. In 2013 he took the next step and played at the University of Missouri until 2016. He played a total of 81 games and as a freshman averaged 4,1ppg, 2,2rpg and 2,1apg. His playing time was reduced simply because he had future NBA guys like Jordan Clarkston and Jabari Brown ahead of him. ‘Those 2 are my guys. I was roommates with Jordan. Jonathan Williams and I were the only freshmen that got good minutes. We were part of the circle. Jordan took me along on the ride. It was great seeing how everything would unfold for them’, remembered Wes Clark. In his last two seasons at Missouri he averaged 10.1ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.1apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 37.4%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 74.5% and in his junior year averaged 9.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 36.8%, 3PT: 37.5%, FT: 83.3%. He scored in double figures in 21 games and had some fine performances against South Carolina netting 26 points, getting 22 points against Savannah State and 21 points against Illinois. He became a totally different player in his last 2 seasons at Missouri. ‘At the start my game was similar to how I played in high school. I was a pick and role player that looked for the mismatches. When Clarkson and Brown left, my role changed. I went from a guy who filled the spot to pushing the tempo. I became more of an isolation player that could create my own shot and for others. My team relied on me’, said Wes Clark. He showed that he had game as a sophomore having two solid performances against NCAA powerhouse Kentucky a team then filled with future NBA players like the Harrison brothers, Cauley-Stein, Towns, Trey Lyles, Tyler Ullis and Devin Booker coming from the bench. In a way games like that weren’t special and nobody made a big impact on him. ‘The basketball world is small. I already had known most guys from AAU. I had already had relations with Ulis and Booker. Games against Kentucky is where I strapped it on. I knew that having a good night against them could change your life’, commented Wes Clark.

The aggressive guard who also lists guys like Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Karl Anthony Towns as other tough opponents back in the day then moved to the University of Buffalo (NCAA) for his senior year. It was a no brainer to go there since his former high school coach Nate Oats took over as coach. ‘He made me the way I am today. He went along the ride with me and gave me so much advice. I needed a life line. I had to grow up. I was used to the glamour and being on top of the world. When things came down on me, I needed somebody to help me get up. He was that person. He gave me an opportunity even if everything there I earned. I knew that I had to work hard. He helped me become more of a man’, expressed Wes Clark. In his senior year he averaged 15.4ppg, 3.6rpg, 5.3apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 54.8%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 76.5%. He scored in double figures in 21 of 25 games and had 20 points or more 6 times including 27 points against NJIT and 25 points against Toledo. He wasn’t playing his best game near the end of the season as the MAC tournament came. In the semi final game against Kent State he only had 3 points. It was time for coach Oats to help him with serious soul searching. ‘He had a huge impact on me. After that terrible game, I got up extra shots and still couldn’t hit anything. He couldn’t believe I was missing everything. He told me this is your last game You have to be confident. You won’t get another chance. His advice helped as I hit for 26 points, beat Toledo and won the MVP award’, stressed Wes Clark. He then saved his best for last upsetting Arizona netting 25 points and then ending his NCAA career with 26 points in a loss to Kentucky. He made the All-MAC Third Team and MAC All-Tournament Team in 2018.
The Michigan native who lists Jeremy Chappel, EC Matthews, CJ Massinburg, James Young and John Brown as his five best teammates of all-time began his professional career overseas in Italy in 2018 with Happy Casa Brindisi (Italy-Serie A) averaging 9.3ppg, 2.1rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 57.3%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 73.8%. It is always interesting to see what the wakeup call is for Americans coming overseas for the first time. Often it is the communication, or not having a Mcdonalds, but in the case of Wes Clark it was on the court. ‘The travel off the open step hurt me. Back home you can take that step. At the beginning I had something like 2 travels a game. I knew that I had to change my game. I knew that I had to adjust my game in order to be effective’, remembered Wes Clark. He scored in double figures in 7 games including having a 33 point explosion against Banco di Srd and hit his future team Cantu for 24 points. Often when guys go overseas, they may land in a remote place where few know English and he might be the lone American and having to bond with other teammates that speak some strange language something that can effect a whole season. Luckly in his case, he landed in the Serie A and was living in a dream as he had 4 vital veterans on the squad with Tony Gaffney, maybe the only player ever to be on the Celtics and Lakers roster in one season and never play a game, Jeremy Chappel, Adrian Banks and John Brown. ‘Jeremy Chappel is my guy. We talk every other week since that time. His competitive level brought the whole team together. He always led by example and gave 100% each day. Adrian Banks taught me that I could be effective without taking a million dribbles. He has to be in the top 20 scoring in Europe in the last 6-7 years. He always understood that you don’t need to be the most skilled, but just effective. John Brown was an energy player that could get anything done, because he knew if he played hard then he would be successful. Tony Gaffney showed us all how to be a leader. He taught me that the point guard has to conduct the team and have all on the same page’, warned Wes Clark.

The undersized guard who always brings energy and toughness lists his personal NBA Mount Rushmore with legends like Jordan, Lebron, Kobe and Shaq played his second season overseas with Acqua S.Bernardo Cantu (Serie A) averaging 14.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.5apg, FGP: 45.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.6%. This was by far his strongest season as a professional. A big reason for this was having the highly talented Joe Ragland on his side. ‘Joe is my favorite player of all-time that I played together with in Europe. The way he sees the game is amazing. He has it down to a science. It is second to none. I have had injury problems in my career, but my time in Cantu, it was my healthiest time in my career. I was totally locked in. Joe made everything simple. This was the first time that I played with a strong point guard. He was able to relieve pressure off me. If COVID hadn’t come, this could have been a special season’, remembered Wes Clark. He scored in double figures in 14 games including 32 points against Trieste and 30 points against Brindisi. In his third professional season, he began in Chemnitz for his first tour of duty, but then finished in Italy again with Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy-Serie A) averaging 7.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 50.0%. Just being able to visit the historic Venice whenever he wanted to and being teammates with ex NBA player Juylan Stone was monumental. ‘I think I went to Venice 5 or 6 times. It was only a 5 minute drive to get there. I could go whenever I wanted to get dinner. It was an amazing experience. It is something that not many Americans can see. It was a real blessing. I had many veterans that season. Juylan and the others just taught me that you always have to be a professional. You have to always know the decisions that you are making off the court, because if you don’t it could affect your job on the court. They all did it the right way’, remembered Wes Clark. With Chemnitz he scored 18 points against Hamburg and 16 points against MBC and with Venice he scored 16 points a piece against Trieste and Trento. Last season he returned back to an old stomping ground playing for Happy Casa Brindisi (Italy-Serie A) averaging 5.7ppg, 2.0rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 43.9%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 63.6%. But this time, it wasn’t as jolly as his hamstring injury effected his play. ‘It was a tough season. I was unsure of myself. I had been out 4-5 months and I’m a step and go type of player and my play put a lot of pressure on my muscles. I couldn’t get to where I wanted to with my game. I didn’t have the full confidence that I needed. The most positive thing I got from my injury was that I became a student of the game. It made me see the game in a different way and I saw how the game could be slowed down’, said Wes Clark. He hit Virtus Bologna for 17 points and Pesaro for 14 points.

The ex Missouri guard who believes that Lebron James is the best ever man made specimen in Basketball and believes that the classic Coming To America should have been left alone began the season in France with Limoges CSP Elite (France-Betclic ELITE ProA).There he was reunited again with his Buffalo teammate Jayvon Graves. ‘Jayvon is a competitor. He is one of those guys who always wants to get better. He knows just like me that everyone is out to get your spot. Having that spot has to be earned. He is the future. He has it all’, stressed Wes Clark who remembers never having lost a 1-1 battle in practice against him. He scored 11 points against Paris, but the situation overall in Limoges wasn’t the right fit, so he returned back to his old stomping ground in Chemnitz in October 2022. It was easy to comprehend that coach Rodrigo Pastore was a vital reason for returning, but there was also another reason. ‘Coach Pastore was a big reason for returning, but there was also another reason. I wanted to finally experience the incredible fans something I couldn’t do during COVID. Coach and I have a great relationship. We have the same beliefs’, warned Wes Clark. He is having a solid season currently averaging 10,8ppg, 2,2rpg and 3,5apg in the BBL while in the FIBA Europe Cup, he averaged 11,2ppg, 2,7rpg, 3,3apg and 1,0spg. A few weeks ago after the tough loss in Frankfurt his teammate Uher Uguak was 100% confident his team would escape the current losing streak of 5 games, but does he share his teammates belief after additional loses to Bamberg and Bonn? ‘I’m 100% sure we can turn it around. We are so close. We are chasing a few minutes. If we can get through that then we will have full confidence in the game. We aren’t a new team. Nothing has changed. We are a young team that has young guys in bigger roles. They aren’t used to the pressure within these roles. We are suffering a back to the wall moment at the time. I feel like we have a chance. We can play with anyone’, warned Wes Clark. The last loss against the Telekom Baskets Bonn was brutal, but definitely not one of the worst in his career. ‘I have been in a lot of big games, played against the best at March madness. I can’t say this was one of the biggest loses in my career, but definitely one of the biggest games we let slip out of our hands this season. It was a frustrating and heartbreaking loss’, stated Wes Clark. The club has 9 games left and 3 games away from the last playoff spot. Everything is possible for the Niners Chemnitz and the playoffs while for Wes Clark sky is also the limit. As long as he never forgets those type of games he had against a Shai Gilgeous Alexander and others, the more his desire to keep climbing the basketball ladder to the highest level will remain alive


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