HoopsHype Keon Clark rumors

December 4, 2013 Updates

Former NBA player Keon Clark was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to weapons and driving under the influence charges in two separate cases. "I, uh, did a lot of stuff in my past," Clark said at his plea hearing in Vermilion County Circuit Court, tears streaming down his face. "I have to own up to it." The 38-year-old Danville native faced 10 weapons, drugs and driving-related charges stemming from one 2012 case and four 2013 cases. News-Gazette

December 3, 2013 Updates

Since Aug. 4, Keon Clark has been locked up in a fourth-floor cell in the Vermilion County Jail, sleeping on a steel bunk that's a foot shorter than his nearly 7-foot-tall frame. His only glimpse of the outside world has been through the jail windows. But the former NBA first-round draft pick calls the incarceration "one of the better times of my life." "I have been clean and sober for five months," Clark said last week during a brief phone interview with The News-Gazette from jail. "I have made changes for the better mentally. ... I can focus on me and the changes I need to make to become, basically, a citizen of my town instead of a hindrance." News-Gazette

Today, he faces a list of weapons, drugs and traffic-related charges stemming from a 2012 case and four 2013 cases in Vermilion County. Prosecutors have offered him a plea agreement in those cases. A hearing on the matter is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Vermilion County Circuit Court. However, in his interview, Clark made one thing clear. "I haven't agreed to a plea," insisted Clark, who on Monday afternoon was still waiting to hear from his lawyers — Champaign-based Jim Martinkus and Adam Dill and Urbana-based Alfred D. Ivy III. News-Gazette

In his recent interview from jail, Clark said he may have been cut out physically to play in the big leagues. But, he admitted, he wasn't mentally prepared to handle the lifestyle of a professional athlete. "The money, the fame, the fact that I was on TV. People think money will make your life better. Money didn't dissolve my problems. It increased them," said Clark, who grew up poor. "I was already on a destructive path," he continued. "What happened was people looked at me, and they saw my persona. What they put on me was not me. You can't live up to something you're not. ... Nobody cares about your problems. Everybody diminished my problems, including myself." News-Gazette

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