In this edition of Reed Between the Lines: Former Grafton Lady Cats’ Basketball Standout Tessa Clark
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I graduated GHS in 2016 and am currently a senior nursing student at WVWC, graduating May 2nd!
Your 2015-16 team was one of the best to come through GHS. What made that team so special?
There is so much I could say for this question. Our team is something I’ll cherish forever. I think our drive and motivation to overcome any obstacle that came our way was a huge part of our success. Along with that, we were so thankful for a coach like Andrew to fill that missing piece that our team needed. Also, we had a sort of chemistry that only we could understand. We knew the other person’s move before they even made them, and that made us extremely powerful on the court. Lastly, one of the MOST special things about us was that our team bond was like no other, and most importantly, we were a family that stuck together no matter what.
Which player on the team didn’t receive recognition they deserved?
The sophomores that had to step up our senior year didn’t receive the recognition they deserved. We didn’t have a full bench, but we had a powerful one. The sophomores worked so hard to be able to step up and make sure they could fill in when one of us were out, sometimes even after playing in their JV games right before. That was huge for them to do as sophomores and they deserved recognition for that.
If you had that last game against Fairmont Senior to do over again, is there anything you would have changed?
I honestly don’t think that game was in our hands. I mean our starters were undeservingly fouled out of the game before we got a chance to play OUR game. If I could change one thing, I would go back to simply enjoy and cherish my last hour to wear #35.
What is the most bizarre question you have ever been asked by someone about basketball?
I can’t really think of anything bizarre, but I had a lot of people ask what position I played. Being 6’2 in high school, I thought it was obvious that I played center.
What is one rule change that you’d most like to see happen in high school basketball?
More fouls, haha. When you get touchy refs, five isn’t enough for anyone.
I know it’s been a few years but give me one word to describe your former head coach, Andrew Moore.
Dedicated. He showed dedication not only to the team, but to each one of us individually. Even since we’ve graduated, he still makes sure to keep in touch. He’s always been more than a coach to us, he’s been family.
What one word or phrase do you think describes you?
What is one piece of advice you would have told yourself as a senior when you were just a freshman?
Cherish every second you get on that court because you don’t realize how much you’re going to miss this. I’d take anything, the sore muscles to where it was hard to get out of bed the next day, the punishment runs, the 8am conditioning, the bruises and aches after every game, the injuries, LITERALLY ANYTHING, to be able to lace up with my girls and play as a Bearcat just one more time.
What is your favorite movie about sports?
Who was the best basketball player you ever played against?
I played in a tournament out of state, I believe it was in Nashville, against this girl who was about 6’4, and she was just a BEAST. Shooting from half court, crossing up anyone trying to guard her, she was unstoppable.
What is the toughest position to play on the basketball court? Why?
I think every single position has its difficulties, and I’d never say that one has it easier than another.
You get to spend the day with anyone (past or present), who do you choose and why?
I’d like to spend the day with my grandpa, who died when my mother was 11. I hear the stories from her, and I know he was an amazing man, so I’d love to be able to meet him.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I have no idea what the future holds, but wherever I am and as long as I’m happy, I think that’s a good place to be.
What do you think you did well as a basketball player?
I think I did well reading the motions so that I knew what needed to happen next. Basketball is just as much mental as it is physical.
What do you think you needed to work on as a basketball player?
Not getting into my own head. My dad used to try to make me mad before a game so that I wouldn’t focus on anything else.
Where was your favorite away venue to play at and why?
Probably Lincoln. The crowds were insane, and it gave us so much motivation to do better.
What makes the best basketball teams in the state great?
The bond. You have to be a family or you won’t get anywhere.
What did you think of these questions?
I liked them. It made me take a second to go back in time to reminisce and realize how lucky I am to have had such a great experience.