Golden Boy Takes To Cali
Published by Jason Gairey on April 16, 2010
Gold is seemingly becoming something that Oakwood Collegiate’s Julian Clarke is growing a custom to. The Baron’s boy’s basketball team has had the most stellar year in the school’s history. Holding the number one spot for the beginning of the high school season, things were looking up for Clarke and his squad. Some big tournament wins where he would be selected MVP in the Hamilton Silver Fox, Court Heinbuch Classic and the Southern Ontario Shootout. The shine was getting brighter until, the team hit a wall.
Injuries, egos and all the things that cause team chemistry to dwindle took effect. Suffering some major losses and a drop in the rankings, and a city championship taken from them, could only add fuel to the fire of Oakwood’s leader and the team that dawns the colour that he had been playing for all year, OFSSAA 4A Gold. “We lost to Eastern Commerce twice near the end of the year…in the South Regional by 1 and then the City finals by three, both of those hurt” said Clarke. The injuries were key as well. “Kevin Blake, one or most talented and consistent players going down with an injury in those games was very painful.”
Clarke took a stance, rallied the troops and got a bye into OFSSAA’s. That opportunity was all that was needed…to keep him and his teammates golden dreams alive.” Beating Emery C.I and getting into OFSSAA’s really picked up our spirits. “We had the greatest week of practice for the year and we’re riding momentum that we picked up ourselves.” Being seeded number six wasn’t making the task any easier. The Baron’s would have to go through a phenomenally difficult path and a feat that many doubters thought…impossible. To go through three of the strongest teams, and top seeds in the province to win Gold? Well, the story can know be told, and its written with Glory and Gold as the Oakwood Barons captured the OFSSAA Quad A Title, defeating Hamilton’s St. Thomas More. In a battle where the Baron’s leader came alive in the clutch with a array of three point shots in the fourth quarter to seal the victory! ” There is no better feeling than walking of the court in your final high school game, with a gold medal around your neck, knowing you gave your all to the team and the sport, achieving the ultimate goal.” he stated.
Still basking in his Golden Glory of an OFSSAA Championship and the MVP, more accolades where to come. The 6’3 combo guard was named Canada High School Basketball Player of the Year by averaging an impressive 23.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 8.9 assist per contest. He was also added to all the who’s who first team All-Canadian and All-Ontario teams. He also managed to be named to the All-Ontario Academic team, to show that he has all avenues covered when the time would come for taking it to the next level.
Wednesday morning, April 14th, 2010, Julian Clarke rose up, with some more Gold in his eyes, with the sun beaming in from his bedroom window. He had made up his mind, and it was time to close his high school chapter and begin a next one. He leaned over and thought about sunny, golden Santa Clara University in California. Grabbed a pen, and in his bed sealed the deal, signing his official letter of intent to attend the alma mater of the greatest Canadian to ever play basketball, Steve Nash! “I chose Santa Clara because its academic quality really set it apart from all the other schools and their basketball program is steadily on the rise with some solid recruiting years under Coach Keating.” Clarke also adds, “At Santa Clara, everyone is one big happy family. They want to see you succeed. I was welcome warmly, with open arms and that made it a smooth and easy decision for myself and my family.”