CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois freshman point guard Skyy Clark is stepping away from basketball and the Illinois program, citing personal reasons in a statement released Friday afternoon. The highly touted point guard has played in 13 games this season, starting all but one, averaging seven points per game.
“I want to start by saying that I love the University of Illinois, my coaching staff, my teammates and the broader Illinois community,” Clark said in a statement on Twitter. “I made friendships in these few short months that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. This decision has nothing to do with basketball, but it does have everything to do with prioritizing myself and my family’s wellbeing.
“For personal reasons, I need to step away from basketball for the time being – putting myself and my family first. I appreciate everyone’s support during this time, but please respect not only my privacy but the privacy of all those around me. Thank you and much love.”
Clark averaged 24.4 minutes per game, while shooting 41 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-3 guard post four double-digit scoring games including a career high 19 point performance against Lindenwood.
“Skyy has made the decision to take some time away from basketball,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said in a statement. “He remains a valued part of our program and will continue to receive our full support. Skyy is a thoughtful, caring young man who right now needs to prioritize himself and his family. This is bigger than basketball. We understand that and stand with him every step of the way.”
Clark was a consensus four-star prospect, ranked No. 32 in the country in the Class of 2022, according to 247Sports. The one-time Kentucky transfer picked Illinois last April, signing his National Letter of Intent LIVE on WCIA 3, ahead of several other big time offers.