Cassidy Clark is the only senior on Truman State University’s women’s basketball team, and she is taking on a leadership role in many ways for the ‘Dogs — despite it only being her second season in the Bulldog system.
Clark transferred to Truman from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, her junior year. She came from a winning program there, only losing a total of eight games in her two years as an Eagle. When her two years in the NJCAA were coming to a close, Truman had just come off winning the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship. Clark says she was ready to come to another successful program and chose to pursue her college career with the Bulldogs.
Head Coach Amy Eagan says Clark made an impact for the team after they had just lost a senior post player.
“Last year when we were recruiting her we knew the impact that she could have on our program, and she had some experience,” Eagan says. “We wanted to bring somebody in that could really fill that role for us this year and she’s done a great job with that.”
This season, Clark is on the leaderboard in various categories. She has played in every game and leads the team in average points per game at 14.3, leads with 22 blocks and 35 steals and in defensive and offensive rebounds with a total of 160. Two weeks ago, Clark was voted Best Player in the GLVC by a fan vote on herosports.com.
Eagan says Clark’s success is a result of her work ethic, drive, coachability and immense love for the game.
Clark is also a statistical leader in many conference categories. In the GLVC, Clark is ranked 3rd in field goal percentage, 9th in blocked shots per game, 10th in rebounds per game, 11th in average points a game and 14th in steals per game.
Eagan says Clark has been a great leader on and off the court.
“She makes good decisions off the floor and on the floor she’s a great leader — she demands it every day from herself, she demands it of [her teammates],” Eagan says.
Eagan says Clark brings a grit to play with a chip on her shoulder and is the intense competitor that every coach would want in their locker room. Eagan says even though Clark’s time on this team is coming to a close, she is not content with getting through the final month grind of the season — she continues to want to get better and better.
“I’m a big believer in ‘you’re only as good as your seniors allow you to be’ — that’s leading on and off the floor for us, and she does that,” Eagan says. Eagan says Clark will leave an impact on the program and is someone she will be talking about long after she is gone.
Clark says the team atmosphere allows for greatness from the players. The girls are highly competitive, yet support each other and want the best for one another. She says even if someone gets beat during practice, there are no hard feelings. Instead, they keep pushing one another to get better.
Clark says her success here can be attributed to her coaches and teammates. She says her coaches are always taking the time to work with them individually on top of team practices.
“Just being here for one year I can see how much my game has improved, and I owe that all to my coaches” Clark says. “Then I have to repay that to my teammates because they are so good and good at getting me the ball when I want it or need it.”
The Bulldogs are currently 11-11 for the season. Clark says her ultimate goal at Truman is to win a conference championship. Clark and the ‘Dogs are on the final stretch, with just five conference games remaining until a hopeful bid into the GLVC tournament. The women embark on their final road trip this weekend, playing Lewis University on Thursday, Feb. 9 and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Saturday, Feb. 11.