CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (BVM) — The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team received some fantastic news recently when Illini coach Brad Underwood announced that Skyy Clark would be committing to play for Illinois. Clark, a five-star prospect who played for Montverde Academy previously, will be able to add a lot for the Fighting Illini who have many question marks going forward in terms of their roster.
— skyy clark (@skyyclark) April 7, 2022
Judging by Clark’s commitment announcement, he’s ready to step up and help the Fighting Illini however he can, which the team will need. With players such as André Curbelo transferring out of Illinois, Clark will have an immediate opportunity to make a difference on the team. Illinois will also be without their prized center Kofi Cockburn, who is looking forward to beginning an NBA career.
With all of these question marks surrounding the Fighting Illini’s roster, Clark will surely be a much–needed piece that Coach Underwood can use to make another run at both a Big Ten Title, and the NCAA Tournament as well.
Clark is already a formidable athlete, and his college career hasn’t even begun yet. The 6-foot-3 point guard was showing a high level of talent while in high school where he was playing for the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. As a junior, Clark was averaging 26.4 points and 3.5 assists per game in just 11 contests.
Clark would end up transferring to Montverde Academy in Florida where he hoped to continue this dominant stretch. Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL injury that would sideline him until the following spring.
When Clark returned, he would average around 8.5 points and 4.3 assists per game over four contests played. While this was a small sample size, it still highlighted Clark’s abilities, especially given how he was posting those stats post-ACL injury. That strength and versatility is exactly the reason why Clark was such a sought–after prospect, and a huge reason why he will be a valuable addition to the Fighting Illini.
Throughout his young career, Clark has been able to overcome adversity and persevere in the game of basketball. He’s already had to overcome one of the worst injuries a basketball player could suffer in their career. Today, Clark is looking to be a pivotal piece of the Fighting Illini’s roster, which is hoping to make another push into the NCAA Tournament.
Clark’s skill level has shown that he’s a five–star prospect for many good reasons, and Illinois will only be able to flourish with a point guard of his caliber on the team. Clark will also be joined by younger brother ZZ Clark on the Illinois roster in 2024.
ZZ, a 6-foot-1 point guard, shares many great basketball skills with his brother. In his freshman season with the Ensworth Tigers, ZZ averaged 10.6 points, 1.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game in 12 contests. The two brothers will undoubtedly be a huge boost to the Fighting Illini’s roster, and will get to enjoy creating memories together playing for the same basketball program.
When it comes to Skyy, no one is more excited to have him playing for Illini than Underwood. During a press conference, Underwood lamented his joy in Clark committing to their program.
“Great day, great day,” Underwood said during a media availability. “His talents speak for themselves, those are exciting to talk about.”
For a team that had many question marks heading into their next season, those will be lessened with the addition of both Skyy, and eventually, ZZ, who look to make their family proud while obtaining success on the court.