13/04/2024

Ian Clark is chasing his second NBL championship (Photo: Melbourne United)

Ian Clark knows how to win on a basketball court. 

The sharpshooter was a member of one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties, winning a ring with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. He then reached the promise land during his first season in the NBL, winning a title with the Sydney Kings in 2022. 

Along with Andrew Gaze and Jack White, Clark is one of three players to win both an NBA and NBL championship. Now chasing a ring with Melbourne United, the American believes his work ethic is the key to tasting success yet again. 

“I just try to lead by example more so than talk,” he said.

“If guys ask me questions, obviously I’m here for them, but we’ve got other guys on the team that have won as well.

“I think a collective of guys having their voices [heard] or showing actions on the court can help us as a group.” 

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On the verge of the 50/40/90 club, Clark is averaging an NBL career high in points per game at 13.6. With his splits currently sitting at 49.2/43.1/85.7, Clark would join Daniel Kickert and Tom Abercrombie as the only players to achieve the illustrious feat. 

The 32-year-old credits a full preseason for his improved numbers in NBL24. 

“The last couple of years coming in halfway through [the season], you’re always the new guy, it’s an adjustment period and by that time, the guys are making playoff runs,” he said.

“So having a preseason, going through the Blitz and being able to start the year – even though I was hurt for a good chuck of time – just being around the guys and building that camaraderie has helped me be comfortable.”

Clark was prolific this afternoon as Melbourne United finished the regular season with a 92-87 win over the Illawarra Hawks.

Despite trailing for most of the match, Chris Goulding and Matthew Dellavedova stood tall in the final quarter to secure their ninth 20-win season. 

“We wanted to [have] a playoff intensity about the way we did things [tonight],” Melbourne United coach, Dean Vickerman, said.

“Mistakes were a little bit heightened tonight for me. If you’re making errors, then we need someone else to come into the game, so I think everybody’s on alert. Certainly not going to be scared of making mistakes but understand just how important every possession is.” 

United will be going into their semi-final series with the same mentality, as they look to win their seventh NBL championship. 

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