Gary Clark Jr. (born November 16, 1994) is an American professional basketball player for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, on assignment from the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Cincinnati Bearcats. He was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the 2017–18 season.
High school career
Clark, a 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) power forward, played basketball at Clayton High School in Clayton, North Carolina, where he left as the school's all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker. He is also the only North Carolina high school player to record a quadruple-double. Clark was ranked as the No. 100 overall prospect by ESPN, No. 87 by Rivals and No. 90 by 247sports. He committed to Cincinnati on September 18, 2013 after receiving a scholarship offer from NC State.
Clark made an immediate impact for Cincinnati, entering the starting lineup from day one and becoming the first freshman to start a season opener for the program since Lance Stephenson. At the close of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) season, he was named to the league's all-rookie team. Clark posted 7.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.3 blocks per game as a freshman.
In his sophomore season, Clark developed into one of the top defensive players in the AAC. After averaging 10.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, he was named second-team All-AAC and the conference Defensive Player of the Year. Prior to his junior year, Clark was named to the preseason All-AAC first team. He averaged 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game as a junior.
At the close of his senior season, Clark was named AAC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 12.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Clark led Cincinnati to an AAC regular season title. He was the AAC tournament Most Outstanding Player after averaging 16.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in the conference tournament. Clark hit a game-winning free throw with four seconds in regulation to secure a 56-55 victory for the Bearcats in the title game.
Houston Rockets (2018–present)
After going undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft, Clark signed with the Houston Rockets. Clark made his NBA debut on October 17, 2018, in a 112–131 blowout loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.Clark was originally signed to a two-way contract, but on December 6, 2018 it was converted to a standard deal.