Basketball update: Clark, possibly Hipsher, fill Felder and Washington departures

Sam Schlenner

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Kay Felder was gone. A vacuum had to be filled.

“Thank God [assistant coach] Dionne Phelps is on our staff,” Kampe said in the GrizzVision interview with Neal Ruhl. “Dionne came into my office after Kay declared…”

He said there’s this guy. One of the best point guards in the country. Just finished his season with Arkansas Baptist, a junior college in Little Rock.

“He looked at me and said, ‘This kid’s really good,’” Kampe said. “‘He’s the real deal,’ he said. ‘He could be a pro.’”

After an ounce of skepticism and a few more of internet research, his interest was piqued. The dude shot 40.1 percent from the field and 39.3 percent behind the arc at Arkansas Baptist, according to njcaa.org. 14.1 points per game. 91.7 percent free throw shooter.

Phelps was an assistant at Oklahoma and head coach at Oklahoma City University, 15 minutes from where this kid played prep ball at Douglass High.

“High school basketball resumes don’t get much glossier,” MaxPreps wrote after giving the guy an honorable mention in the 2013 All-American selections. “Future Cowboy poured in 36.8 points per game this season and won his fourth state title.”

That’s Stevie Clark, formerly of Oklahoma State. He was a backup point guard for the 2013-14 season and played in sixteen games, scoring 5.3 points per.

Clark was arrested twice in the middle of the 2013-14 season with OSU, once on suspicion of possessing marijuana and the other on suspicion of “outraging public decency,” or urinating out of a moving vehicle (someone else was driving). He was kicked off the team in early February.

Kampe acknowledges this.

“I think he made some bad decisions,” Kampe said. “I think he’s been humbled. We’ve had some really good talks. He has a great mother, a mother who is very involved.”

She’s nice, he said, and someone who’s interested not in the basketball but in what this experience could mean for her son’s growth.

“I’m on board with this young man,” Kampe said. “I’m on board with everything that he can do. I think he is someone that will excite our fanbase.”

He said he can follow in the 30-year history of former Oakland point guard greats like Reggie Hamilton, Kay Felder and Brian Gregory, that now he can pass the ball. Clark has two years of eligibility to prove it (he managed 2.3 assists per game at Arkansas Baptist).

“This is a really really important get for Oakland University because of the situation we were in,” Kampe said. “We’re dealing with what the Michigan State’s and [Kansas’s] and Kentucky’s of the world deal with every year.”

Former associate head coach Saddi Washington is off to University of Michigan to be an assistant. Felder signed with agents and is shooting for the NBA.

Now Clark is here for Felder and Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Oakland is expected to hire Dan Hipsher, who has been head coach at four schools, to fill Washington’s place.