By ISU Sports Information
NORMAL – Following a stellar performance at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) U20 European Championships, Elijah Clarance has decided to forego his final three years of collegiate eligibility and begin his professional basketball career.
“First of all, I would like to thank Coach Yaklich, Coach Oliver, Coach Reese, and lastly Coach Muller for believing in my abilities and potential that I was blessed enough to showcase,” said Clarance. “I came to ISU because of the commitment of the coaches and their strong involvement in not only developing players, but also bringing a winning atmosphere in everything you do – both on and off the court. I am greatly appreciative of the chance I received at ISU, and I have no regrets whatsoever. At this point of my basketball career, I have decided to go pro in Europe. After discussing this with my family and close ones, we think this is the best opportunity for me.”
Clarance is the 17th player that Dan Muller has coached at Illinois State to sign a professional basketball contract.
Playing for Sweden’s U20 National Team at the European Championships, Clarance led the tournament in scoring, averaging 22.4 points per game over the seven games of the tournament. He also finished sixth in the tournament in steals (1.9), 12th in rebounds (6.4), and 18th in assists (2.7).
“While I am sad to know I won’t get to coach Elijah again, I could not be happier for him and the opportunity in front of him,” said Muller. “Coming off of a very strong U20 Championship, Elijah was presented with professional opportunities that he felt like he could not pass up. I wish him nothing but the best, and will be rooting for him from across the waters!”
In an injury-plagued freshman season at Illinois State, Clarance came off the bench in 21 games to average 2.7 points, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 rebounds per game.
Illinois State, which returns its four leading scorers from the season earlier, kicks off its 2018-19 season at home on Tuesday, Nov. 6 against Florida Gulf Coast.