On Thursday, January 29, tulsa66ers.com sat down with Oklahoma native and former Sooner Keith Clark. ďMooseĒ made the team through an open tryout in October and was invited to Training Camp, where he impressed the coaches enough to make the regular season roster. During the month of January as he has worked into the rotation, Clark has played in all nine games and started in two of them, while averaging 10.8 points and 7.3 rebounds and shooting 59.6 percent from the field, including 4-of-10 from downtown.
posted by Tulsa66ers.com | January 30 @ 8:30 am
Tulsa66ers.com: What have you been doing these past few weeks that has been translating into more playing time and bigger stat lines?
Keith Clark: I think that the biggest thing is just playing hard and utilizing a strong work ethic during practice. As Iím learning the offensive and defensive schemes, the game is becoming more comfortable to where you don't have to think on the floor, you just react.
What aspects of the game do you need to work on to find a roster spot in the NBA?
KC: Everything really, I just need to work hard every day on the fundamentals of the game.
Have you been seeking any advice from players?
KC: Sure. We have a number of veteran guys on this team that have been there and I listen to any advice that comes my way, because I feel like I need to keep learning. And some players that are in the league have been telling me to just keep getting better, that getting better every day should be my goal.
How was your time at Oklahoma (OU) different than at the professional level?
KC: Mainly going to classes, but other than that, I feel like we put forth a lot of effort at practice and that has translated well here. Itís more of a business and thereís more of a professional mindset that you come in day in and day out to do your work.
Do you think that approach at OU help you here?
KC: Oh sure, the transition was pretty smooth for me, but itís been more about learning about the game of basketball and getting used to the speed of the professional level.
Do you still have some connections with the OU program? Do you stay in touch with them?
KC: Oh yeah, but due to some technical difficulties, I broke my phone so I havenít been able to keep in touch with them lately. Hopefully soon, I can get down there to catch up with everybody.
Which players in the NBA do you think that your game compares to?
KC: I donít really know, Iím not there yet so I wouldnít want to compare myself to any player. They are all great players, but maybe someday I can answer that one better.
What is your pre-game ritual?
KC: I really like to stay off my feet, have a couple things to eat, and maybe a Gatorade or two. Then I come to the gym early and try to get my mind focused on the game and get some shots up.
What are some D-League road trip stories that you can share?
KC: Most definitely the Sioux Falls to Bismarck trip earlier this year. We were trying to make it to the next game and the bus got stuck in the middle of nowhere. It was like negative 40 degrees out there and weíre stuck on the side of the road. I will remember that trip for a long time.
How do you feel about being able to play at home here, with only two road games in the next month and a half?
KC: Itís going to be great, it seems like weíve been on the road the whole season so far. Just to be able to play in front of our fans. That will help our fans get to know us and see us play.
Who is your inspiration?
KC: My son really keeps me focused and gives me inspiration in life.
Whatís on your IPOD playlist right now?
KC: Oh man, I listen to really a wide variety of music. Thereís some Garth Brooks on there, thereís some Lil Wayne, but I need to go get a new one.
What are your favorite movies, all-time and more recent?
KC: All-time I would go with Shrek, and more recently would be Madagascar 2.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would be the topic of conversation?
KC: Well, I wouldnít have to back that far in history, because I would probably say Kobe Bryant. I would just want to pick his brain about coming up from high school and having that mindset of bringing his intensity every night. I think that I would just want to hear that directly from Kobe. Just to see what he is like off the court.
What do you do with your free time?
KC: I usually hang out with my son and go to the gym to dribble a ball or go to Chuck E. Cheese to play some games. But I spend my time with him, heís my buddy.
What are your video games of choice?
KC: I like games like Call of Duty, NBA 2K9, Madden, and other sports games like baseball and soccer. I guess I play them all, but Iím not as much of a gamer as some of the other guys on the team, at least not yet.