Donovan Clingan, the 7-foot sophomore star, reiterated Tuesday that he intends to continue — and finish — his playing career at Bristol Central.
Clingan, who will turn 16 next week, already has five Division I offers in hand, including UConn, Syracuse and Georgetown. He also has his eye on records his late mother, Stacey Porrini Clingan, set at the school.
“My mom has multiple records there, the block and rebound record. I already passed her in (total) points. I want to keep breaking her records,” Donovan said on the Courtside with Joe Morelli podcast taped Tuesday.
Donovan is averaging 23.7 points, 16.7 rebounds and 6.5 blocked shots per game this season. He is shooting 65.4 percent from 2-point range and 38 percent from 3-point range for the 14-4 Rams.
Stacey, a star player at Bristol Central who went on to play at the University of Maine, died of breast cancer in March of 2018. Donovan was still in the eighth grade. This was detailed in a story that came out on ESPN.com this week about Donovan.
Stacey’s death hit the family hard, Donovan said, but also helped bring the family closer together.
“She always wanted to do what’s best for me,” Donovan said. “If she was here, she wouldn’t make me go to prep school. She would make me do whatever I wanted to do that would make me happy (with his future plans).”
Yes, prep schools are interested in Clingan’s services. It’s something his father, Bill, and Bristol Central head coach Tim Barrette have to deal with, in addition to the numerous colleges who have shown interest and may eventually make full scholarship offers.
“No. 1 for us is to let him be a kid. By staying at Bristol Central, that allows him to be a kid, hang out with his friends,” Barrette said during the podcast. “Most Division I schools who have talked to us have talked about his ability to actually stay at Bristol Central as long as he could. We play 25 games a year and with the AAU circuit, he plays 55-60 games throughout the year and plays against the best competition in the country.”
College coaches cannot contact Donovan until July 1. Until then, and after that, his dad and Barrette will handle the growing interest in the 7-footer.
“Obviously selfishly, I’d love to keep him at Bristol Central,” Barrette said. “But if it comes down to the day after his junior year he has to have a step up in competition that is best for his future or career, we will do what’s best for Donovan.”