Dan Clark has vowed to build on a promising summer with Team GB and prove that he can thrive in the ACB by holding down a starting role for Estudiantes Madrid this season.

The 22-year-old was all set to leave the Spanish capital when rivals Manresa came in for him in the off-season, offering a starting role. But then Estudiantes exercised their contract option, retaining a player who had first arrived as a raw teenager.

In pre-season, the 2.10m (7-0) forward won the praise of the club’s coaching staff – and their trust. As the league tipped off on Thursday night, the Brit has 8 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes before fouling out in a 84-79 loss to Real Madrid. However, will it be another year as a bit-part player or can he show that his GB form was no blip?

“I’ve had a few difficult years in Spain but I’ve always believed in myself and I’ve always believed I could play at this level,” he said.

“I think I’m slowly starting to show that. Now I have to take this confidence back from playing for GB. International basketball has been good for me but I need to show it at club level.”

He’s got the backing of GB head coach Chris Finch who has seen the progress of the young Londoner.

“We asked Dan to make it a breakout summer and he rose to the challenge,” said Finch. “He’s got an incredibly high basketball IQ and he’s a good passer. He knows how to be opportunistic. When his shot is there, he takes it.”

Clark will be among four Brits in the ACB this term – along side Rob Archibald and Joel Freeland (Malaga) and Devon van Oostrum (Baskonia). And, on the advice of Estudiantes coaching staff, he has been hitting the weight room in a bid to go head-to-head with his GB buddies.

“I need to get stronger, especially to defend bigger players in the low post,” he said. “I have the height but I need that pace and strength in my legs to take the next step forward.”

And up.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login