COLUMBIA – When the Hickman High School final bell rang to dismiss its students Wednesday afternoon, Chris Clark sent out a tweet.
A few minutes later the Kewpies' standout basketball player joined a a handful of friends in the school's front lobby. Some other friends and classmates walked by Clark and patted him on the back.
Clark, who decommitted from the University of Tennessee at Martin at the beginning of April because of a coaching change, decided on a new school Wednesday.
"After Days And Days Of Discussion, i Am Blessed To Say That I Have Decided To COMMIT To Moberly Area Community College. #MACCgreyhounds," Clark said in the tweet, which he sent from his iPhone.
Clark recently narrowed his options to Moberly and the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
Clark made his decision Tuesday night at about 6 or 7 p.m., after meeting with Hickman coach David Johnson in his office earlier in the day. Johnson's advice: If Clark wants to play at a bigger Division I school, he should attend a junior college because he can transfer after a year or two. If he wants to play in the NCAA immediately, then he should go Division II.
After that meeting Clark's mind was mostly made up. He called Moberly first. Clark then called Division II UMSL to inform its coach he wasn't joining the team.
The commitment to Moberly may seem like a step down from D-I UT-Martin, but Clark doesn't see it that way.
"After two years you have to transfer," Clark said about Moberly. "So I can still go D-I after a year or two. And it's close to home, and I want my family to be able to see me play for a little while longer."
If Clark chose to go to a D-II school and decided to transfer to a D-I school, he would have to sit out a year because of NCAA transfer rules. But since he chose to go the junior college route, Clark can transfer to a Division I school and play immediately.
The 6-foot-3 178-pound guard hopes to transfer after one year, but if necessary he'll wait until after his second year.
He didn't hear from his hometown school, Missouri, but he would have liked to.
Clark, who scored 41 points in two state tournament games at Mizzou Arena last month, hopes to hear from Missouri in the coming years.
Supervising editor is Mark Selig.