Feeling of home led to Clark's commitment

Sunrise (Bel Aire, Kansas) Christian Academy small forward makes commitment to Michigan State on Monday, a week after informing the coaches of his decision. He explains why the Spartans and what sold him -- and his mother.

Michigan State already had a good trip to Indianapolis with a Big Ten Tournament win last weekend, but it got better for the Spartans when Tom Izzo answered his phone on the bus after beating Michigan.

Marvin Clark was on the other end and he had decided to commit to the Spartans. The Sunrise (Bel Aire, Kansas) Christian Academy small forward made his commitment public Monday and it was because of the feeling of "home" he got when he took his official visit to East Lansing.

"The staff, players are really close and Coach Izzo is great," Clark said. "The staff and Coach Izzo, they are very genuine and the players – they are all very genuine people. I got to see it at its worst. When I went, they lost and they didn't have the red carpet or anything rolled out for me so I got to see everything how it really is. If that's how it is on a day-to-day basis, that's how I want it."

It also was the fact that Michigan State had his mother sold, even though throughout his recruitment she did not want him to go far from home. That changed with the trip to East Lansing.

"After the visit to Michigan State, she told me that's where she wanted me to go," he said. "She says she feels like away from basketball, she knows I'll be taken care of. That's all she really cares about and academics.

"Her main thing is that I'll be taken care of. Out of everywhere we went, that experience was the biggest one."

Clark took an official visit to Indiana following his trip to Michigan State, but said he spent the whole trip thinking about Michigan State.

"The feeling was overwhelming. I thought about it over and over and I couldn't get the feeling that I got there out of my head," he said.

Another key for Clark was seeing his relationship grow with current Spartans Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine. He also said he understands how tough it will be at the next level and looks forward to the challenge at Michigan State.

"That's the reason I want to go there is I know I'm going to be pushed," he said. "I know I'm going to wake up every day and love to do it. I just feel like I'm going to love everyday getting up and working as soon as I get there."

When he arrives, he won't be alone from Sunrise, though. His teammate, point guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn, already signed with the Spartans.

Naturally, Nairn is excited as is Clark. Now, they hope it builds a pipeline to Michigan State.

"I'm pretty sure it will," Clark said. "Coach Izzo is really close with our head coach and he knows tough players are coming out of Sunrise. I think there could be more players from Sunrise going to State in the future."

But until he arrives on campus, Clark is working to be more college-ready with two-a-days since his senior season ended.

"I've been working on ballhandling, which has really improved," he said. "I'm really working on ballhandling so I can be able to push the ball and I'm really working on my pull-up game because I can get to the rack, so if I can add a pull-up and keep defenders on their heels, the sky is the limit.

"The main thing for me is just ballhandling. If I can get a tighter handle, it will help."

Clark is the third commitment in the 2014 class for MSU, joining Nairn and Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln wing Javon Bess. Nairn and Bess signed in the early signing period.


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