Future Watch: Brandon Clarke Rookie Basketball Cards, Grizzlies – After seeing veteran center Marc Gasol traded to Toronto at last year’s deadline, and with Mike Conley‘s departure for Utah this past offseason, the Memphis Grizzlies are hoping a pair of rookies can help energize their fanbase. Second overall pick Ja Morant has come out of the gate strong but their other first round pick, power forward Brandon Clarke, is also making an impact for the team early in the season.
Brandon Clarke was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1996. His family moved to the United States when he was three years old and settled in Phoenix. He played high school ball at Desert Vista High School. In 2015, he was named an All-Arizona Division 1 honoree after leading Desert Vista High to the championship game.
After high school, Clarke attended San Jose State and played for their basketball program for two seasons. As a freshman, he averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in conference play. He was named Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year. Clarke improved as a sophomore averaging 17.3 points, 8.7 boards, 2.6 blocks and 2.3 assists over 30 games. This earned him All-Mountain West First Team and All-Defensive team honors. After the season he elected to transfer to Gonzaga University. Due to the transfer, Clarke redshirted for the Bulldogs during the 2017-18 season.
Clarke broke out on a larger stage with Gonzaga in his junior season. In 37 games he averaged 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. His 117 blocks led the NCAA! He also finished first in field goal percentage (.687), Offensive Rating (137.9), Defensive Rating (84.0) and Win Shares (8.8). Clarke became the first player in WCC history to win both their Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season. In Gonzaga’s NCAA Tournament game on March 23rd, 2019, he recorded a career high 36 points along with eight boards, five blocks and three assists in a win over #9 seeded Baylor. Clarke’s performance in that game made him the third player in NCAA history to record a game of 35+ points alongside five blocks. The only other players to do that have been Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson. Gonzaga would go on to lose to Texas Tech in their Elite Eight match-up. After the season, Clarke declared himself eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft.
At the combine, Clarke measured in at 6’8” with a 6’8.25” wingspan. Despite his lack of length, his athleticism shined in workouts along with his incredible instincts as a rebounder and shot blocker. At Gonzaga, he was a difference maker at the rim with his quickness and leaping ability making up for his lack of length. He’s a solid scorer in the painted area, and that’s where he’ll do most of his damage in the NBA. At the draft, Clarke was selected with the 21st overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder. On draft night, he was traded to Memphis in exchange for Darius Bazley and a future second-round pick.
Clarke put on a show at the 2019 NBA Summer League with four double-doubles as he helped lead Memphis’ squad to the championship game. In that game, he scored 15 points, grabbed 16 boards and added four assists and three blocks to his final line. The Grizzlies won the tournament with Clarke earning the MVP for the championship game. He also was named MVP of the entire 2019 Summer League, becoming the first player to earn both MVP honors.
Through 18 games this season, Clarke has started twice and has averaged 21.2 minutes per contest. Among his rookie peers he’s ninth in scoring with 11.8 points and first in rebounds with 5.9 per game. Memphis will give Clarke plenty of opportunities this season and there’s a chance he’s starting after the calendar rolls over to 2020. With fellow rookie Ja Morant running the point, and sophomore Jaren Jackson Jr. patrolling the paint, the Grizzlies have a solid young core of players to give their fans excitement for the future. Clarke may not be the flashiest player on the roster, but he can be the glue that keeps the team together with strong defense and athletic plays. He’s currently nursing a left oblique injury which makes this a perfect time to snatch up his rookie cards at a good value.
Collectors looking for Brandon Clarke in his Gonzaga Bulldogs uniform will find him in Panini’s 2019 Collegiate Basketball programs including Prizm Draft Picks, Contenders Draft Picks and Flawless Collegiate. As a first round draft pick, look for Brandon Clarke in his Memphis Grizzlies uniform across Panini’s entire 2019-20 NBA Basketball catalog including Prizm, Absolute, Certified and many more to come.
Future Watch: Brandon Clarke Rookie Basketball Cards, Grizzlies – Stats
Future Watch: Brandon Clarke Rookie Basketball Cards, Grizzlies – More Resources
- NBA.com Player Profile – Brandon Clarke
- Brandon Clarke – Secondary Market Pricing
- Follow Brandon Clarke on Twitter @brandonclarke23
Future Watch: Brandon Clarke Rookie Basketball Cards, Grizzlies – Image Gallery
Latest posts by James Gale (see all)
- Future Watch: De’Andre Hunter Rookie Basketball Cards, Hawks - January 21, 2020
- Future Watch: Jaxson Hayes Rookie Basketball Cards, Pelicans - January 15, 2020
- Future Watch: Jarrett Culver Rookie Basketball Cards, Timberwolves - January 8, 2020