by Cameron Deloatch, i64sports
Clarence Rupert has been one of most surprising emerging stars, not only in the Eastern District but in all of Virginia. Last season, Rupert was a role player off for the Commodores who contributed well in his reserve role.
Following this year’s state title run, Rupert cemented his self as one of the best players in the state. Emerging on a senior-laden, star-studded team like Maury was very impressive, nonetheless.
The 6-foot-6 Rupert gave Maury a big man they haven’t possessed in quite a while. With a smooth post game, outside touch, and defensive versatility, Rupert was dominant against teams all season, averaging more than 18 points and 11 rebounds. The junior forward was recently awarded Class 5 state Player of the Year after also earning first team all-region and district honors earlier.
Rupert will participate in this weekend’s I-64 Sports Rising Stars Game, an event where he captured MVP honors last year which helped springboard an impressive AAU run with Boo Williams Summer League.
Rupert spoke on his growth and development from his sophomore year heading into his senior year.
“For me to come off of the bench last year and to start this year meant that I had to put in a lot of work over the summer,” Rupert noted.
His biggest areas where he wanted to improve on was his shot selection and his post moves as well. “I just wanted to work on everything, just to make my self a better player overall”.
Rupert dominated throughout the season, but his play went up another level during the postseason, averaging a double-double in state tournament play.
With all of the offseason work and great coaching, Clarence said that “the competition wasn’t as hard for me as it was last year, so it really wasn’t a challenge.
But even as an emerging star, the thing that Clarence learned the most from the seniors on the team was to “Never look past anybody, because if you do that then the whole season can be a failure,” he added.
Going into his senior season, the only thing on Rupert’s mind is to repeat as state champions. Be on the lookout for Rupert this summer, as he will be running with Boo Williams on the EYBL circuit and fall as he gears up to bring another state title back to Maury.