Sports

Men’s Basketball: You don’t know Jack

For casual Miami basketball fans, the name Jack McClinton may not be a familiar one. In fact, it wasn’t too familiar to the Atlantic Coast Conference earlier this season, when his name was left off Miami’s roster in the ACC’s 2006 media guide. However, the Sienna transfer has turned heads in the ACC and beyond.

McClinton was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He played high school ball at Calvert Hall College, a prestigious school known for producing the University of Maryland’s 2002 ACC Player of the Year Juan Dixon.

Calvert Hall’s head coach, Mark Amatucci, still remembers what he felt separated McClinton from other players.

“He just flat-out can score, and he is a constant worker in the gym,” Amatucci said. “He buys into the fact that the longer you work in the gym, at your game, the better you’re going to get.”

Despite the objections of some, McClinton strove to play at a Division-I level, so he took his game to a prep school. He attended South Kent School, located in Connecticut, where current Miami Heat forward Dorell Wright also played. McClinton and Wright’s time together led to a friendship which would ultimately play a part in McClinton’s move.

After South Kent, McClinton got a scholarship to Sienna College, located in upstate New York. A key part of his decision was the style of play used by Head Coach Rob Lanier. However, after only one year at Sienna, Lanier was fired, and McClinton was left looking for another option. The best fit appeared to be in the South, far away from where he had lived all his life. The voice calling him was that of Miami’s Head Coach Frank Haith.

“Coach Haith and Coach Lanier coached together at Texas, and I heard they were similar coaches. That’s part of the reason why I went to Sienna, because of Lanier,” McClinton said. “Once I heard they were similar coaches, I knew it would be a better fit.”

McClinton made the move, but due to NCAA rules, had to sit out a year. Without playing competitively, how could he avoid losing some of his skill? He went back to what he knew would maintain his game: the gym.

“I’d call him at 10 o’clock at night, and he’d be out of breath,” Haith said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. “I’d say, ‘Jack, what are you doing?’ He had worked a deal with a guy at the gym, so he could work on his game late at night. That’s the kind of kid he is.”

McClinton’s work has once again paid off and led to outstanding performances. With 16 points per game, he’s Miami’s top scorer. In his attempt to fill the shoes and 33.6 points per game of departed guards Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite, he is once again turning heads.

“Jack has made himself a player, and I think it’s extraordinary that he is where he is at this point,” Amatucci said. “That’s his greatest attribute; he gets something in his head, and he’s going to keep working at it.”

Matthew Bunch may be contacted at m.bunch@umiami.edu.

January 30, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.