Landon Clark, who simply accomplished his sophomore yr at Bangor Excessive College, already is pondering forward to his faculty basketball future nonetheless at the least two years away.
One possibility figures to be only a few exits north on Interstate 95, because the 6-foot-7 ahead introduced on social media Thursday that he has obtained a scholarship provide from the College of Maine.
“Being a hometown man with UMaine about 10 minutes from the place I dwell, watching video games and seeing guys who went to highschool in Maine like [former UMaine standout] Andrew Fleming, you wish to be like them so to have that chance is one thing particular,” Clark mentioned.
Clark gained’t be capable to signal a Nationwide Letter of Intent to just accept a scholarship provide till the autumn of 2023 on the earliest, however he’s appreciative of the early curiosity new Black Bears’ basketball coach Chris Markwood and his workers have taken in him and his future.
“Particularly with it being UMaine, that’s a dream for each child from Maine to have UMaine as a possibility,” Clark mentioned. “It’s one thing I actually cherish.”
Clark is coming off a 2021-22 season at Bangor Excessive the place he was named to the Bangor Every day Information All-Maine first staff after averaging 21.8 factors and 9.0 rebounds per sport and rating second in Class AA North in each classes to the state’s Mr. Basketball, UMaine-bound ahead John Shea of Edward Little Excessive College in Auburn.
Clark shot higher than 40 p.c from past the 3-point arc final winter and added 1.9 steals and 1.7 assists per sport.
Clark at the moment is taking part in his third season of AAU basketball with Maine United, a staff that options Cooper Flagg, the 6-foot-7 standout from Newport who as a freshman led Nokomis Regional Excessive College to the 2022 Class A state championship and has been ranked by ESPN because the third-best participant nationally within the Class of 2025.
“I feel a very powerful half about Cooper is he’s an excellent child. You simply cheer for him a lot extra for all of the respect and all the eye he’s getting due to how good of a teammate and a buddy he’s,” Clark mentioned.
“And simply having the ability to compete with him in observe, he doesn’t again right down to anyone. We play in opposition to the highest folks within the nation and he doesn’t again down, and in observe he goes as onerous as everyone I’ve ever seen so to only be capable to compete in opposition to him and guard him makes you higher.”
Maine United is competing within the prestigious Nike Elite Youth Basketball League and already has certified for that group’s season-ending Peach Jam nationwide event set for July 17-24 in Augusta, Georgia, based mostly on the 7-1 file the staff posted in its first two qualifying occasions in Orlando, Florida, and Indianapolis, Indiana, earlier this spring.
“It’s made everyone higher taking part in in opposition to the most effective competitors within the nation, however I feel one of the essential components is competing day by day in observe with these guys since they’re the most effective group of men from across the state,” Clark mentioned. “After we compete in observe it units us up properly for once we compete in opposition to the highest competitors in the entire nation.”
Clark is taking part in wing on the AAU stage, considerably totally different from highschool competitors the place he has blended perimeter play with time spent nearer to the basket.
“[Wing] is basically the place I’d play in faculty as properly,” he mentioned. “However in highschool my staff wanted me down low in order that’s the place I performed. If Maine United wants me down there I’ll play down there, and in the event that they want me on the wing I’ll play on the wing.”
The Maine United staff, coached by former College of Maine guard Andy Bedard, has attracted appreciable consideration from major-college coaches on the tournaments they’ve already competed on this spring on account of Flagg’s presence, because the 6-foot-8 level ahead has attracted scholarship provides from the likes of Duke and UCLA.
That might imply extra recruiting consideration for others on the staff like Clark.
“I feel for everyone, taking part in with who in my view is the No. 1 participant within the nation clearly brings everyone there,” Clark mentioned. “You don’t play for that spotlight, you simply play to win, however he brings all the eye. It’s fairly cool.”
Flagg and his twin brother, 6-foot-7 ahead Ace Flagg, are set to switch from Nokomis to nationwide prep energy Montverde (Florida) Academy in August for the beginning of their sophomore yr of highschool.
Maine United’s presence within the Nike league for the primary time this yr additionally has heightened the aggressive stage of the opposition. The one staff that has defeated the Maine staff in EYBL competitors thus far was led by the dual sons of former Duke College and NBA standout Carlos Boozer, with 6-foot-8 energy ahead Cameron Boozer ranked because the No. 1 participant within the Class of 2025 by ESPN and twin brother Cayden, a 6-foot-3 guard, rated twenty fourth.
“Everyone you play is simply fast and so bouncy and so tall, so it’s totally different in the way you create your individual shot, the way you get shot off, and in defending you must get faster,” Clark mentioned.
“We all know that we’re by no means going to be favored by 20 in any sport we play, so we’ve to only work more durable to get higher day by day to be able to play in opposition to the most effective of the most effective.”