2022 five-star guard Skyy Clark’s genuine interest in the Kentucky basketball program is nothing new, both publicly and behind the scenes.
After being rumored as an early Kentucky lean, the 6-foot-3 point guard joined KSR’s Sources Say back in February to discuss his interest in the Wildcats, where he confirmed the pro-UK speculation.
“They are definitely, definitely in my top five,” Clark said. “As you all know, Coach Calipari is an amazing coach. Everything about Kentucky is on a new level. They try to get you to the league, which is my ultimate goal. They’re going to push you to not only be a player in the league, but one of the top players in the league. That’s something I’m definitely looking for when I go to college.
“It means everything to me [that UK has prioritized me early]. Kentucky has always been one of my top college choices, ever since I started playing basketball. It’s just very humbling. Knowing that I’m on their radar only pushes me to work harder.”
Fast forward just five months, and the highly coveted prospect has officially earned an offer from John Calipari and the UK coaching staff, becoming the first guard in his class to do so.
What was it like to receive a scholarship from the school he’s loved since he first picked up a basketball?
“Psh, I don’t even know what to say, it was just a huge blessing,” Clark told KSR after receiving the offer. “We were on a Zoom call with Coach [John] Calipari, Coach [Tony] Barbee, Coach Kenny Payne, Coach [Joel] Justus, and Coach [Brady] Kennedy. Just hearing [Calipari] say, “You have an official scholarship to Kentucky,” it didn’t even seem real. It’s something I’ve been waiting on for a very long time.”
Skyy Clark on receiving his offer from Kentucky: "It didn’t even seem real. It’s something I’ve been waiting on for a very long time." pic.twitter.com/vseaeMaCNR
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) July 4, 2020
After setting up the Zoom meeting with the entire coaching staff, Clark and his father wondered if this call was going to be different than others, but weren’t certain.
When the moment came, it was a shock for both.
“Me and my dad, in the back of our heads, we kind of thought, “Maybe?”’ Clark said. “I got the North Carolina offer this week, so I wondered if I would get an offer. But I wasn’t expecting anything. It was definitely a huge surprise. … I was really excited, but I think my dad might have been more excited than me. It’s definitely a blessing.”
“Extremely amazing moment,” the five-star guard’s father, Kenny Clark, told KSR.
Typically, Calipari waits until seeing players in person going into their junior seasons before extending an offer, a rule the Kentucky coach has been firm on since he first arrived in Lexington.
With the ongoing AAU cancellations and lack of live recruiting periods due to COVID-19, Calipari broke that trend with Clark, offering him solely based on film and gut instinct.
For Clark, that in itself is an honor.
“It’s a huge honor, just knowing that he’s seen film and stuff, but never got to actually go see me play,” Clark told KSR. “Knowing I’m the first kid that he offered without seeing me play in person is huge. It’s a blessing to me.”