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Taft’s Kihei Clark is a well-grounded point guard

By in Press Enterprise on February 6, 2018

By Mark Whicker

WOODLAND HILLS — He is slight and cherubic and not the first player you would pick for your team at the rec center.

Not until after the game.

Kihei Clark is 5-foot-10 in your program. To paraphrase Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, he’s never been anything else.

“Looking at my parents, I don’t think I’m going to grow a lot,” Clark said.

Instead, he grows on you. A year ago he committed to UC Davis, the best alternative among his suitors. Now he has committed to Virginia, the No. 2 team in the nation. Not to disrespect the defending Big West champions, but that is quite a growth spurt.

“Whatever the level of competition has been, he’s been able to rise to it,” Derrick Taylor said. “If he was two inches taller he would have been recruited a lot sooner.”

Taylor is the basketball coach at Taft. He has developed Jordan Farmar, Larry Drew II and Spencer Dinwiddie. Clark is his point guard and Taft was 23-7 overall and 7-1 in league, heading into Tuesday night’s game at Birmingham.

The City Section playoffs are imminent and the Toreadors hope to get through their division and play either Westchester or Fairfax, with Clark averaging 21.3 points, 8.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds. Only one other senior starts. This is his show, but there’s nothing showy about it.

“I used to watch Steve Nash, Chris Paul,” Clark said after Friday night’s win over Cleveland, in which he drained four 3-pointers in the first quarter.

“I don’t want to go out there and try to do things I can’t do. The guys know I’m a point guard. I don’t like to score that much necessarily, just take care of things and be there at the end.”

Inevitably Clark will be compared to London Perrantes, the sleepy-eyed Crespi guard who took his unhurried game to four […]    

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