Freshman Skyy Clark to temporarily step away from basketball

Freshman+Guard+Skyy+Clark+works+through+Syracuse+on+Nov.+29%2C+2022.+Clark+will+transfer+out+of+Illinois%2C+according+to+a+breaking+report.

Sidney Malone

Freshman Guard Skyy Clark works through Syracuse on Nov. 29, 2022. Clark will transfer out of Illinois, according to a breaking report.

By Drew Friberg, Sports Editor

Freshman guard Skyy Clark will take a leave of absence from Illinois men’s basketball in January, according to a report on Friday morning by Kedric Prince. The report was later confirmed by Skyy Clark and Brad Underwood, who will likely be without Clark ahead of the Illini’s matchup against Wisconsin. Clark will not be leaving the university, contrary to earlier reports and has no definite timeline for returning.

Clark, a former 5-star recruit out of Los Angeles, played in 12 of 13 matches for the Illini this season and averaged 7.0 points and 2.1 assists. His only no-show of the season came at home against Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 29, where he did not feature at all. Clark returned against Northwestern on Wednesday, where he dropped two points, two assists and three rebounds.

The report was later confirmed by Clark himself, clearing up speculation of potential conflict between himself, the Illinois basketball program and coaching staff.

“I made friendships in these few short months that I will keep with me for the rest of my life,” Clark stated via Twitter. “This decision has nothing to do with basketball, but it does have everything to do with prioritizing myself and my family’s wellbeing.”

Underwood would publish a short statement on Twitter afterwards showing his support for his young player.

“Skyy is a thoughtful, caring young man who right now needs to prioritize himself and his family,” Underwood said. “This is bigger than basketball.”

“We understand that and stand with him every step of the way.”

 

This story was updated following Skyy Clark and Brad Underwood’s statements. This is a developing story, check back for updates.

 

@DrewFriberg9

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