SportsStudent Athlete of the Week


Menchville's Clark setting himself up for future with VMI commitment

The Monarchs' AJ Clark is this week's Esprit Decor Student-Athlete of the Week
AJ Clark Menchville
Posted at 9:55 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 21:55:47-05

NEWPORT NEWS, VA (WTKR)- Menchville's AJ Clark and his teammates have been putting together the pieces of a winning puzzle for quite some time now. 2022 saw the squad reach the state semifinals, only to fall to Maury by three points.

"Last year we only had one senior and for us to come up four points short, it just lets us know that we can go back and do it again," he said.

Up until Friday night, the Monarchs were rumbling through the campaign. Menchville finished the regular season 22-0, with Clark winning Peninsula District Player of the Year.

"It just shows that we're doing something right," he said. "To come out and just play all year and do what we do best and winning 22 games, it just shows that we have what it takes to go all the way."

The Monarchs would fall to Woodside on Friday in the Region 5B semifinals, ending their season, but that does not diminish the accomplishments of the senior guard. Even though his high school career is over, basketball is taking him further.

"It's a good feeling," Clark said of earning a shot to play college basketball. "It just gives me another way out."

The guard will make his way across I-64 after high school to attend VMI, putting his talents on display on the court and paving his path to a strong future off of it as well.

"VMI is a school that really wanted me," noted Clark. "They recruited me heavily throughout the summer. It's the best school that I see would set me up for life after college, so I just felt that it was the best fit for me."

"You're going to a service academy that, once you finish, you'll be connected for life," added Menchville head coach Lamont Strothers. "It gives you a different perspective on life because he's already from a good family."

Clark is focused on everything that comes with attending VMI. In addition to all the skills he'll acquire and challenged he'll face, he also hopes to help Keydet basketball reach new heights.

"Improving upon this season already," Clark said of his goals in the court. "VMI's battling a lot of injuries on the basketball side, so I know next year we'll be a totally different team."

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