Former Hawks import seen in same light as Stephen Curry, says Blake Griffin
|Steve Chalmers||Nov 19, 2015|
Remember Rotnei Clarke?
While NBL teams couldn't 'Stop the Rot' during his tenure with the Wollongong Hawks, it turns out the former league most valuable player has more than a trophy in common with current NBA MVP Stephen Curry (albeit the NBL & NBA MVP being very different).
According to Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin, Curry reminds him of a formidable 'kid from Oklahoma' back in college, he told LA Times' Melanie Rohlin.
"With no disrespect to Steph, there was this kid in Oklahoma named Rotnei Clarke,
"In high school, he’d average like 47. It was like the same type of thing obviously on a much different scale, like he didn’t have [Chris Paul] and guys guarding him. But it was crazy. He would shoot like left-handed, like it was insane. Not comparing by any means.”
Looks like Griffin knew what he was talking about - take a look at some of Clarke's high school career here, where he dropped 65 in one game!
Clarke donned the Wollongong outfit during the 2013/14 NBL season, averaging 21.1 points and 3.4 assists, shooting 45.6% from the field.
His incredible talent to light it up from anywhere inside the half court electrified fans across the country; even those who had to succumb to one of Wollongong's staggering comebacks throughout the second half of the season.
Many remember the 13/14 Hawks because of their never say die attitude, led by both Clarke and head coach Gordie McLeod, which propelled their season from near last to a finals berth.
Other NBL historians will speak about Clarke's night against Melbourne, whom he torched for 37 points which included nine triples (9/10 3PT) before going down in double overtime.
Now, Clarke is playing for Telekom Baskets Bonn at the highest level in Germany. It's a stark comparison from Griffin, however to be spoken about just in the same breath at the NBA MVP, you know he's something special.
NBL fans across the land appreciated what Rotnei was able to do - let this be known to appreciate all of our imports who make their way down under. You just never know what you mind end up with!