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No “dream school” talk, but Terrence Clarke has looked up to former Cat Rajon Rondo

Clarke says Rondo’s advice “changed me.”

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Terrence Clarke, the No. 3 player in the 2021 recruiting class (but probably 2020) will be announcing his college decision on Saturday. While all signs point to Kentucky, there is always a caution leading up to the commitment for such a high-profile player.

As a Boston native, Clarke was featured in a Boston Globe article this week leading up to his announcement. The top three recruit didn’t have a ‘dream school’ growing up, which has been a hot topic in Kentucky recruiting over the last year.

But in addition to great stories about his upbringing and childhood, the Big Blue Nation will be relieved to know that his childhood hero was former Wildcat Rajon Rondo.

Although his interest in basketball was piqued by watching older Boston Celtics games against Magic Johnson’s Lakers, it was a conversation with Rondo an an 8-year-old after a Celtics game that Clarke said changed him.

“I stopped and froze,” Clarke said. “I don’t know how the security let me do this, but I ran to him screaming, ‘Rondo! Rondo!’ I shut down crying and he said, ‘Keep working.’ That advice changed me.”

Of course, that was right in the midst of Boston’s run with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen with Rondo being the distributor to all of those future hall of famers. It was a great time to be a Celtics fan and the perfect time for a Boston kid to fall in love with the game.

A lot has changed in those 10 years for both Rondo and Clarke, and the two met again last year at the NBA Players Association Camp. There may not have been tears this time around, but that does not mean that Clarke took this meeting for granted.

“I told him that I always looked up to [him] and he told me I was a great player,” said Clarke. “Hearing that from him was crazy.”

While being a Rondo fan does not mean Clarke is more likely to pick Kentucky on Saturday, it certainly does not hurt. He will make his announcement at 1 p.m. and we will have the latest updates here on A Sea of Blue.

In the meantime, be sure to read the rest of the fascinating Boston Globe piece here.

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