Camps such as the North Carolina Phenom 150 serve as an opportunity for players to jump from off the radar onto the recruiting boards of a variety of different college coaches’ recruiting boards. They also provide players hovering around the mid-major ranks a chance to establish themselves as higher tier prospects.
One talented young player that has tried to jump from mid-major to high-major status is wing Gary Clark from Clayton (N.C.) High School.
“Just playing hard – playing defense is my main thing,” Clark said of his approach to the camp. “I know a lot of kids don’t understand it’s more than just me, me, me. A lot of them come in and think ‘I’ve gotta show my skills’ so I just play defense. I can always play defense.”
And he did exactly that. Clark was a force in the paint, blocking shots on a frequent basis. Despite being a natural wing, the junior had to play in the paint for much of the day and he embraced the role with open arms.
Defensively, he parked himself in the paint and returned just about everything that found its way into his zone.
It’s that kind of defensive ability that earned quite a bit of attention from college coaches throughout the summer. The result has been numerous high-major schools knocking at his door.
Just recently, Clark saw coaches from one ACC school visit Clayton High, while another has been in more frequent contact with him.
“I started hearing a lot more from Wake Forest [after the summer],” he said. “I’ve got Clemson. Clemson is coming to the gym a lot. The head coach came last week and an assistant coach came the week before that.
“UNC Greensboro (offer) [has also shown interest], Cincinnati is supposed to come this week. [NC State] texted my head coach and told him they were going to stop by, too.”
In addition to those four schools, Clark has also picked up heavy attention from VCU (offer) and NC State has started to increase its interest.
Other schools that have stepped forward in his recruitment with offers include Charlotte, East Carolina, Ole Miss, Radford and UNC Wilmington.