Player of the Week (2): Jason Clark, Spartans
For another season, AABL teams have increased the talent level of the league. The AABL belief is that playing not only with but also against players with a high skill level will make every team better. And after 12 Seasons of increasingly improving basketball, the point has been proven as players and teams have improved tremendously with more precise skill sets and higher basketball IQ.
Spartans, the 2011-12 AABL Champions, are a team led by veteran players that have been hitting the AABL hardwood since the league’s inception in 2001. With plenty of basketball IQ to spare, these guys have been through many battles on the court but they realized that they need to add some personnel if they intend on keeping up with with the young, quick teams. Spartans got exactly what they needed with big man Jason Clark.
The 6’8″ center looked strong in the paint for the second straight week– this time against the Soldiers. The opposition had no answer for Clark as he dominated in the post while showing off some solid all-around skills. He hit up Soldiers for 15 pts (3/3 FTs), 21 reb, 3 ast, 3 blk, 2 stl, while showing he is capable to adjust to his new team’s style of play.
Spartans already had a top-notch big man in the paint (Tony Miller), but with the addition of Clark, they will outsize most if not all opponents and Miller will be able to step out of the paint and showcase more of his all-around abilities. Also, not willing to be labeled a half-court team, Spartans added some quickness and scoring ability on the perimeter to go along with their already dangerous three point threats.
Spartans had a bumpy Regular Season (4-5) last year with their age showing a bit, however, they were still able to make it to the Final Four where they lost to the eventual Champions, Quiet Storm. With the additions of Clark and some youth and speed, the Spartans could be on the verge of another deep run into the playoffs. But of course, Spartans mentality is AABL CUP or BUST. FD
Click here to check out some highlights of Clark’s collegiate career at the University of Virginia.