Clark happy with her son at Arizona

On Wednesday, Lashiem Clark's son, Brandon Ashley, will sign with Arizona. Read on to see her thoughts on Arizona, Sean Miller, and more.

National Letter of Intent Day is a great day for families all across the nation, as family and friends look on as their high school seniors sign on the dotted line with their respective schools. For Lashiem Clark, watching her son Brandon Ashley sign with Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats is one of those rare days that create memories that are life-lasting.

"I am very, very, very proud of Brandon," Clark said. "I can't explain or put into words how proud I am of him."

The opportunity to sign with a prominent program such as Arizona is a tremendous one for any player, but Clark admits she's seen Brandon's success coming for awhile now.

"I would have to say in seventh or eighth grade I knew he'd be good," Clark said. "He had flashes in his game where we would just be amazed at what he did. For him being so tall, it was always a lot easier for him.

"When I saw him get on with the Soldiers and it continued to get easier for him, it amazed me. I thought for sure going up against bigger, stronger, older kids that he'd have a tougher time. It just didn't happen. I'm not saying it was easy throughout, but it was definitely easier for him than I thought it would be."

Clark has had the unique opportunity of watching Ashley's game evolve and mature over time, and has seen some definite improvements in her son's skill level during his development.

"I would have to say in seventh or eighth grade, he couldn't really put it on the ground," Clark said. "He was a lot bigger, so he moved a lot slower. As he grew and progressed, he was able to dribble more, and now he can face up.

"I'd have to say his defense improved because he lost a lot of weight and through working on his strength, he's able to move a lot quicker now. The last area of his game I feel has improved dramatically is his shot, he's really been working on his shot."

With all of the progression and improvements Ashley has been able to make in his game, he's moved up to's number three player in the class of 2012, something his mother admits she did not expect, but is something she attributes to her son's work ethic.

"I have to say that I did not expect him to be ranked so high," Clark said. "I expected maybe somewhere in the five, six, or seven range, but three was definitely a personal goal for him. He's worked really hard and he's gone above and beyond. I just can't speak volumes enough of him."

Ashley recently visited Arizona officially, and while her son no longer lives with her, Clark met her son out in Tucson for the trip, an experience that in her mind could not have gone any better.

"I actually brought the whole family out to Tucson, it was such a long drive my goodness," Clark said. "It was good to have everyone there to watch him experience it, he had a ball. He was like, ‘Mom, is there any way to skip this last year of high school?' He enjoyed it so much. He enjoyed the players, the coaching staff, everybody was great."

When her son does reach Tucson, she knows that she's leaving him in the best hands possible with head coach Sean Miller. Under Miller's guidance, Clark hopes to see all of the dreams that Ashley currently has come true.

"I believe everything coach Miller told me in that he will get him stronger, he will get him quicker, he will get him better," Clark said. "If Brandon makes it to the league that's great, if he stays at Arizona for four years that's great. I just want him to reach his own personal goals. Sean said that he can work on certain things with him, and I believe him."

After committing to Arizona just short of three months ago and after some time has passed, Clark is still just as excited that her son will be playing college basketball in Tucson in 2012-13 for Coach Miller and his staff.

"I'm ecstatic with his decision," Clark said. "Reason be is because with Sean, everything that he's told us, we've definitely seen it. With Derrick Williams and other plays that he's touched and put his hands on and helped, he's an awesome guy. He's not one of those types of coaches that likes to hear himself talk, everything he says has substance.

"He's a good guy, very genuine. I'm very happy, I would entrust my son with him any day."

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