TSU's Covington, Belmont's Clark get NBA opporunities

Friday, June 28, 2013 at 8:05pm
Staff reports

Though they went undrafted, Robert Covington and Ian Clark will still get a crack at the NBA.

Both former Ohio Valley Conference standouts inked deals on Friday.

Covington, a 6-foot-9, 216-pound forward from Tennessee State, signed a partially guaranteed contract with the Houston Rockets. Clark, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound shooting guard from Belmont, will play on summer league teams for the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors from July 7-22 in Orlando and Las Vegas.

“May not have been drafted, but given a different route to pursue my dreams,” Covington wrote on Instagram. “I’m blessed for this opportunity. God still works even in different ways.”

Covington finished his career as a three-time All-OVC selection and ranks seventh in school history in points (1,749) and rebounds (876).

As a senior, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds despite missing 10 games when he tore his meniscus in his right knee. The Chicago native also shot 38.8 percent from 3-point range (40-of-103), led the team with 39 blocks and was second with 50 steals.

Clark is Belmont’s all-time leading scorer in the NCAA era in points (1,920) and 3-pointers (340). The Memphis native ranked third in the country with a 45.9 shooting percentage from 3-point range last year as he earned co-OVC player of the year honors. He was a four-time all-conference selection – in the OVC and Atlantic Sun – and was the defensive player of the year in two leagues.

Murray State point guard Isaiah Canaan was the only OVC player to get drafted. Canaan, who shared the OVC’s top honors with Clark, was taken in the second round by the Houston Rockets.