Prep's Chris Clover getting his chance to break out

Chris Clover (bottom right) fights for a rebound with Ray Kasongo (left) and Malik Kuwornu at the Reebok Classic Breakout on Wednesday. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Chris Clover (bottom right) fights for a rebound with Ray Kasongo (left) and Malik Kuwornu at the Reebok Classic Breakout on Wednesday. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Posted: July 13, 2013

Four months before this week's Reebok Classic Breakout at Philadelphia University, Chris Clover couldn't find a way to stop the bleeding.

It was the Class AAAA state basketball semifinal against Chester High, and St. Joseph's Prep lost Clover for the first half after he took an elbow to his nose. He quickly stuffed his right nostril with cotton and started the second half. Clover scored 10 points in the 62-53 loss.

Not many coaches or scouts knew about Clover in March, when he was a sophomore playing behind two Division I prospects, Steve Vasturia and Miles Overton.

But coach Speedy Morris thinks that will change in Clover's junior season. It's his time to break out.

"He's a good player that works hard on his game," Morris said. "He has to get a lot better, but he knows that, and that's the good thing. No one knows more than him. He's in the Reebok challenge now, and people are starting to notice him, and he's getting a lot of letters."

Clover is among 120 prospects at this week's scholastic showcase, which began Wednesday and runs through Friday, concluding with an all-star game.

Clover said his incentive to play college basketball is to make sure that his mother, Crystal Brown, doesn't have to struggle paying tuition.

"To be honest, I just want to make it," said Clover, a 6-foot-3 combo guard who lives at 63d Street and Cedar Avenue.

"I just want to get out, go to college, and get a free education so that my mom doesn't have to go through paying so much. I still love playing the game, running up and down the court, getting buckets, and cheering for my teammates."

Clover finished his sophomore season averaging 9 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Hawks. He said he has been contacted by Drexel, Temple, and Villanova.

"Is he ready right now? No," Morris said. "But he's got two years. I've had a lot of players who have had scholarships during their senior year. I'd be surprised if he's not offered after this year."


Contact Tyler R. Tynes at ttynes@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @RealTylerTynes.

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