Right At Home

Razorback basketball signee Rotnei Clarke (6-1, 180), who has now been on campus for six weeks after a senior season in which he averaged over 40 points a game and led his team to a state title, talks about how well he is getting acclimated to his new home and teammates this summer is going.

A visitor to the University of Arkansas basketball camp last week found several kids and their parents buzzing about a recent addition to the Razorback roster.

"Wow, that guy is the best shooter I have ever seen in my life," noted one dad while encouraging his son to take notice of what hours and hours of practice of shooting the rock can do for you.

It certainly wasn't the first time somebody has been amazed by the shooting ability of Rotnei Clarke (6-1, 180), who is the all-time career scorer in the state of Oklahoma and who has spent his summer going to class at the UA and, of course, shooting.

"It is going really good," noted Clarke, who sported a 4.0 grade point average off the court to go along with his 40 point average on it. "This is my sixth week going to class, which is a little bit harder than high school. But we have tutors helping us out and it has been an awesome experience so far. I am really, really enjoying it and I am sure I will enjoy it even more once school and the season starts."

Clarke has had the opportunity to play pick-up ball and go through workouts with not only the returning Razorbacks, but many of the other newcomers.

Andre Clark and Brandon Moore have been in Fayetteville all summer as well and Courtney Fortson and Montrell McDonald were set to arrive this past weekend.

"It's been great working with Pat (Beverley) and (Stefan) Welsh and some of these other guards," Clarke said. "Courtney coming in is just going to make it better. It's good to be able to play pick-up, work with each other and get used to each other and get to know each other's games more."

Courtney Clarke, Rotnei's dad, has already moved to Fayetteville and is working at All-Star Sports Arena while his mom and sister Cassie – who will become perhaps the state's best 2009 college prospect upon her arrival – will soon join them in Northwest Arkansas.

"We're a real close-knit family and it's going to be real good that the family will all be here," said Clarke, whose grandma is a long-time Fayetteville resident. "We're not sure where Cassie is going to play yet, but she and my mom are definitely moving over here."

Clarke, who led his team to a state title his senior season, got a chance to play one more high school game earlier this month in the Faith 7 All-Star game in Shawnee.

He had 29 points while teaming with good friend and Oklahoma State signee Keiton Page (37 points) as the Oklahoma downed Texas 121-101 despite a record-setting 41 points from Oklahoma signee Willie Warren.

"Willie was shooting a lot," Clarke laughed. "It was real fun. The best part was being able to be on the floor at the same time with Keiton in the fourth quarter and being roommates. We went down there to win that game and got that done."


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