The Blue Zone will be running a summer series bringing you the latest on some of Duke basketball’s former stars. This week, we took to Twitter to see who should be the next former Blue Devil covered. Your answer: Marty Clark.
Marty Clark wasn't a star at Duke like some of the other players we've checked in on, but he played some crucial minutes during his time in Durham that will forever stay in the minds of the diehard Blue Devil fans.
Clark was a star in high school, playing in two McDonald's All-American games and being named All-State in 1989 (Colorado) and 1990 (Illinois). After being at the top of the basketball world in high school, coming off the bench as a freshman at Duke was a new experience for Clark, and one that took some time to adjust to.
As a freshman Clark averaged just 4.5 minutes per game in 23 contests. While spending most of his time watching from the bench, the Blue Devils tore through the NCAA Tournament and knocked off Kansas 72-65 to win their first national championship. Despite winning a ring in his first collegiate season, Clark was ready to transfer away from Duke to seek more playing time with a different team.
Then rising junior guard Bill McCaffrey transfered to Vanderbilt. McCaffrey was the second-leading scorer for Duke in the 1990-91 season, but played only 24.8 minutes per game—starting 21 of 38 games. With McCaffrey gone, the door opened ever so slightly for Clark to play more as a sophomore.
Even with McCaffrey out of the picture, Clark played just 7.5 minutes per game. But there was one game in particular that Clark will always be remembered for during that sophomore season. After Christian Laettner hit "The Shot" against Kentucky in the Elite Eight, Duke still needed to get through Indiana before even making it to the championship game.
With Grant Hill fouled out, Clark played two crucial minutes at the end of the game. The sophomore—who played just 10 minutes in the four previous tournament games—hit five of six free throws in crunch time to help the Blue Devils hang on and win 81-78. One game later, Clark had a second ring in two years.
His final two years at Duke Clark saw a marked increase in playing time. Clark started nine games over his junior and senior seasons, averaging better than 7.0 points per game in both seasons. He was named a captain as a senior and was the recipient of the Glenn E. "Ted" Mann award that goes to the team's top reserve in each of his final two years. Clark and the Blue Devils made it to the National Championship game again in 1994, but lost to Arkansas 76-72.
After his time at Duke, Clark twice nearly made it to the NBA, first with the Milwaukee Bucks—coached by Mike Dunleavy Sr., father of future Blue Devil Mike Dunleavy Jr.—then with the Utah Jazz. Clark did end up playing overseas for a number of years in Finland, Turkey and Australia, but returned stateside to begin his coaching career.
Today, Clark is the CEO of Next Level Basketball, a program that organizes youth camps for children to learn the game of basketball and hone their skills. In March, Clark accepted the head coaching position at Bear Creek High School in Colorado. Clark has his hands full with the Bears, as the program hasn't posted a winning season in any of the previous seven years. Despite the poor recent results, Clark is targeting the state finals this season.
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