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Stillwater’s Clark Pepper III – Character Counts – Presented by Jodie Jackson Insurance Agency

By Chris Cox

Sophomore junior Clark Pepper III says his brother was the reason he started playing basketball.

“I started playing around fourth grade,” he says. “I got into it because my brother (Dennis) bought me a pair of Curry’s for the first time. Since then, I’ve just kept playing.”

While Dennis got him playing, Clark says he continues to play for his brother.

“He’s really into the sport but growing up he wasn’t able to play,” he says. “He’s a really thoughtful person. Since he couldn’t play the sport he loves, I wanted to do it for him>.”

Pepper says he enjoys basketball because it’s a way for him to escape from life’s stresses.

“It’s just a way to get away from stuff,” he says. “It’s a way to escape from reality. It also helps me with my mental focus in school. You can’t play ball without school.”

Pepper had to reset his goals a little bit for this season. He moved to Stillwater from Olive High School before the start of the year and now says his goal is to first and foremost make the team.

“Since I just transferred to Stillwater, I’d like to climb my way up the roster,” he says. “Thankfully, the transition has been pretty good. The coaches have been pretty welcoming and have helped me learn the plays.”

As a team, Pepper says the Pioneers looking to have a winning record and get past the first round of the playoffs. He knows that everyone, including himself, will have to play their role for the Pioneers to succeed.

“I just have to play my role,” he says. “The coaches want me to be a playmaker. They say they like my vision.”

Outside of basketball, Pepper is involved with the special Olympics.

“I really like all the players,” he says. “It’s fun refereeing them. They are all really understanding and you can kind of teach them as they go.”

Although just a junior, Pepper has been thinking about his life after high school and coaching is square in the middle of his plans.

“I would like to start college right after [graduation] and get on as a lay coach somewhere,” he says. “If I can’t get on as a coach, then I want to stay with college, get a job, and get a sociology degree.”

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