Kihei Clark’s freshman year at the University of Virginia is in the books, and he’s happy to come back to the valley as a national champion — happily signing some autographs for family members, while enjoying the comforts of home with his parents.
“It’s great to have him back home, got my baby sitter back, but other than that we like having him around we’re a close-knit family,” said Malik, Kihei’s father.
His mom Sharon and father Malik Clark enjoyed every round of the tournament, following the team to Minnesota as Virginia won its first-ever Final Four.
“It was amazing, definitely a once in a lifetime experience, it was hard to explain it unless you’re there, the energy, the people just being in the hotel seeing all the fans, Virginia fans travel really well.”
“It just means a lot — I didn’t get to see them a lot during the year they came to a few games, but it just felt good knowing you had support in the stands,” said Kihei. “Just cheering for me, it meant a lot.”
Clark is now getting wide support for his championship play, for Filipino Cavalier who celebrated the victory at a recent rally, it’s become a proud moment.
“It’s really nice seeing us being represented on the big screen, for sure. It was crazy, because he’s not much taller than me, seeing him do all that work on the court, it’s really inspiring to see that Filipinos are making it here in the US.”
The point guard‘s clutch loose ball recovery and assist from halfcourt to force overtime kept the team championship hopes alive in the elite 8 and his consistent defensive presence has put him on the list of the rising stars in the NCAA.
“It means a lot just to finally be recognized as one of the rising stars… a lot to me but I just keep in my mind that I gotta keep working keep proving everybody wrong. I’m just going to continue improving my game and get better over the summer, and hopefully, we have a great season next year.”
Clark returns to summer school next month.
The Cavs are hoping to repeat as national champions…despite being on a quick summer vacation, he’s been hitting the gym.