As a junior at Riverside High School, Jacob Clark averaged over 15 points per contest on his way to being named All-State honorable mention ahead of his senior year, and said he has come into his senior year with much the same mentality as he’s approached the rest of his high school career.
“Any of my free time I get ever since I’ve been little, a lot of my time has been spent in the gym and I think it’s carried me a long way in school, in sports and everything”
Jacob has been an athlete nearly all of his life, a two sport athlete now, balancing the weight of football as well as basketball, his father Jimmy said that it’s a load that became a bit lighter once his son got to Riverside High School.
“Coming up through middle school and when he was young, he was a three-sporter. He played baseball and excelled in it and once he got to high school he knew the importance of at least having one offseason to develop his body and everything else for football and for basketball as well”
Once he dropped baseball, it freed up just a little more time on Jacob’s busy schedule, giving him enough time to not only improve his studies in regards to academics, but also a little more time to invest in the lives of younger kids in the Belle area. He coaches a 2nd/3rd grade team in his local Biddy league team and said that it’s a humbling experience.
“They don’t really have any worries in the world. They just like coming to practice and like to learn, listen, and they enjoy playing the game. It really makes me feel good having an impact on their lives.”
His father said that leaves little free time for Jacob, and though he said he’s obviously a little biased, you’d be hard pressed to find a kid with more character.
“He gets off of his high school practice, leaves there and goes to his little league practice. It’s hard to find kids that have that kind of dedication and understanding to them. On Sunday’s his time is usually spent at Riverside at our youth league coaching those kids during their games.”
“I’m not home very much,” Jacob said,” but I love basketball and if I didn’t love it I wouldn’t put as much time in as I do.”
Jimmy said it’s a testament to his son’s knowledge on the importance of pouring back into the community.
“As far as athletics he’s a kid that’s always put in the extra time and a kid that knows the importance of giving back. He spends a lot of time with the youth in little league football and basketball. Anything he can do, he does that.”
It’s not just those younger one’s he’s looking out for though. Obviously for any student athlete – being a student comes first, as his father Jimmy said Jacob takes careful measure to make the decision that work best for himself and those around him.
“If he’s got something he’s got to work on, he understands that. He gets into the gym. He’s always trying to things that make him better which in turn he understands will make his team better.”
It comes down to leaving a legacy, a dream among other that Jacob has had, along with a decent idea of how he’d like to be remembered.
“When I leave high school I want people, my teachers, my coaches, and the administration, to look and say that kid really worked hard. That he was involved in the community and the younger kids could look up to him. It’s bigger than basketball and that’s why the community means a whole lot to me.”
With the majority of his senior season ahead of him, Jacob looks to end his high school career on a high note, knowing that graduation is fast approaching, and the reality that sports don’t last forever.
“You only have so much time to enjoy yourself and play with your friends and things like that, because after that the majority of people or done.”
Though it’s still a few months away, Jacob hopes to be able to play basketball at the collegiate level after his days at Riverside are through, but also has shown major interest in becoming a dentist.