MSU gets a "pretty special" player in Clark

Sunrise Christian (Bel Aire, Kansas) Academy coach Kyle Lindsted thinks MSU got a steal with the commitment of small forward Marvin Clark on Monday -- and got a good kid off the court.

Kyle Lindsted has no doubt Michigan State got a steal Monday.

His small forward Marvin Clark committed to the Spartans and the Sunrise Christian (Bel Aire, Kansas) Academy coach felt Clark stayed just enough under-the-radar.

"He's got a chance to be a high-level scorer," Lindsted said. "A kid his size that shoots it the way he does is pretty special. He's a pretty special scorer.

"My biggest thing with Marvin is if he figures it all out, he's going to be pretty special scoring the basketball."

The 6-foot-7 Clark picked Michigan State over Indiana, Iowa State, Seton Hall and Kansas State. But that list might have looked different if not for a foot injury last April that derailed his summer, but it worked in the Spartans' favor.

"If he would have stayed healthy, his recruitment would have been a circus," Lindsted said. "I think the relationship that I've built with Michigan State through the (MSU signee Lourawls Nairn's recruitment) allowed me to say, ‘Hey, trust me, this kid is good enough.' They said, ‘Okay, we're listening' and I think they did the research on their own and found out this kid has a got a chance to be good."

The place that chance is most ripe is in East Lansing for Clark, just as it is for Nairn. The Sunrise Christian Academy program has its similarities to Michigan State after all.

"We're a pretty Izzo-friendly program," Lindsted said. "I've been in (Marvin's) face a lot and we get up and kick their rears early in the morning. They get it, but it's going to be another level and we all know it.

"He's going to have his ups and downs, but I think he's going to be a pleasant surprise to the people there."

With how far Clark has come off the court, though, he already is a surprise. Coming from a tough upbringing with a stint of homelessness, losing his father at a young age and his mother having some difficult relationships, Clark could have gone one direction with his life. Instead, he went the opposite.

"Most kids that come through that sort of environment have a tendency to be bitter and kind of got a little grudge against the whole world," Lindsted said. "Marvin has just gone the total opposite way. He just decided that he's happy with his life and he was going to make something of his life and change and get out of that environment.

"It's incredible. If you sit down and just said tell me some stories about your life, you wouldn't believe what he's been through."

So now Lindsted said Clark is a gentlemen and just an all-around nice kid.

"He's very low key and just kind," he said. "He is one of those guys that cares about other people. He's just a really neat kid.

"Sometimes he cares too much. He is just a polite, kind kid."

He also brings a good work ethic, which has him in the gym for two-a-days to work on his ballhandling and ball skills – the area Linstead said he most needs to work on.

"He is not a bad defender because he is so physically gifted," he said. "He's a freak and he's a freak athlete. He's just ripped and he's big and tall. He's got a chance to be a good defender, but he just needs to stay locked in. I would say defensively it would just be consistency.

"Offensively, I would like to see him improve his handle. Just his ball skills in general, passing and dribbling, would be great. He is going to continue to shoot it, but those would be the things I would say he needs to work on."

All-in-all, Lindsted said the people around Clark are proud of him and excited to see what the future holds for Clark – and Nairn.

"He is going to go up there and I think he is going to be a lot better than people think," he said. "I think the two of those guys have a chance to be special players. Tum right away and I think Marvin is going to contribute right away in certain areas."

Spartan Nation Top Stories