STORY BY MICHAEL WENDLANDT
Drake Women’s Basketball received a startling surprise when injured senior Kyndal Clark announced that she would not be returning to Drake next year. The guard, who was the Jackie Stiles Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in the 2013-2014 season, only played one game last season before injuring her knee.
Clark had started every game for the three previous seasons, leading the Bulldogs in scoring during her sophomore and junior years, topping out at 19.3 points per game as a junior. She led the nation that season in three pointers per game with 3.6 as well. Her final game in a Drake uniform was a 17-point performance against South Dakota in the season-opener last fall.
In her career Clark averaged 14.5 points per game over a course of 98 games.
It was expected throughout the year that she would take a medical redshirt and come back for one final year, retaking a spot back in the starting lineup and being the final piece in what could be a championship roster.
For the entire 2014-2015 season you could see her on the bench, looking on to recognize patterns offensively and defensively and to give feedback to the coaches, which would then be relayed to her teammates.
While she has been a star on the court, she has perhaps shined even more off the court, being named to the Allstate Good Works Team this offseason for her work outside the lines. In the official release, Clark does not give a concrete reason for her decision not to continue as a part of the team, but she leaves having been one of the top scorers in Bulldog history.
Her final words to Drake University, as stated in the release, are “Thank you.”
As a fan, this is sad to see. She was an exciting player who could take over games, like she did in 2014 against Northern Iowa when she scored a career-high 41 points. I had a chance to profile her earlier and she was extremely thankful to the fans for their support during her career, from the tough seasons early on to the run to the conference finals in 2014.
As a journalist, both in print and in broadcasting, Clark’s departure leaves a hole in my broadcasts. You could always count on the crowd getting louder whenever they saw that she had an open look from the right wing.
Clark will graduate in May with a degree in Information Systems and will depart with memories created in every Women’s Basketball fan.