NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – New Rochelle varsity boys basketball coach Rasaun Young noticed the added energy Joe Clarke had coming into preseason.
Clarke, who was instrumental in the New Rochelle football team’s New York state Class AA championship, carried that energy and excitement right into basketball.
The 6-foot-3 senior, who had little time off following football, has been a dominant force for the Huguenots and is The New Rochelle Daily Voice Athlete of the Month for January.
Clarke is averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds, despite being the main focus of every opponent’s defense.
“Joe was talking about the season starting in preseason, and you could see that he had more fire in him,” said Young, who was a New Rochelle High School basketball teammate of Clarke’s father. “The success that he had with football also has given him more confidence, which has enabled Joe to take his game to the next level.”
Prior to the season, Young told Clarke that he would be the team’s go-to player. Now in his third year on the team, Young said, Clarke embraced the challenge.
What makes Clarke so effective is his unselfishness. Young said his scoring average could be higher, if he chose.
“Joe knows that when that double- or triple-team comes, he is going to make that extra pass,” Young said. “Not only is Joe unselfish, he is a team-first player.”