High School Sports Watch: Clingan Continues Dominant Season Against New Britain


Andrew Mals

Clingan is the 49th ranked recruit in his class.

Andrew Mals

When people think of Bristol, Connecticut they may think of Aaron Hernandez or the home of ESPN, but Donovan Clingan is making a name for himself and the community of Bristol.

New Britain High School hosted Clingan and Bristol Central on Tuesday Feb. 23. Bristol Central took down New Britain comfortably, 60-33 while moving to 4-0 on the season.

It’s hard not to glance over at Clingan when he walks into a room, standing at the height of 7’1 as a 17 year-old junior. He typically has to duck his head when walking through doorways.

Clingan has gained national exposure not for just his height, but for his basketball talents. He currently sits as the 49th best basketball prospect, according to ESPN.com and is a 4-star recruit for the class of 2022.

Clingan has received offers from UConn, Michigan, Michigan State, Syracuse, Iowa, Rutgers, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Maryland, UMass, Providence, Ohio State, Georgetown, Iona and Yale.

One person who is very fond of Clingan is Tim Barrette, head basketball coach at Bristol Central, who has been with Clingan since he entered the hallways at Bristol Central.

“Donovan’s grind is unbelievable. He is at practice an hour before other players and is constantly trying to improve,” said Barrette. “He moves unbelievably well for a man his size and most college coaches can’t believe how much ground he covers with each move to the basket. He also has been complimented many times on his footwork from collegiate and professional coaches,” said Barrette.

Before Clingan’s game against New Britain, he was averaging 32 points and 14 rebounds per game through his first three contests this season.

Clingan had a slow start Tuesday, only registering 2-points in the first half. He turned things around quickly in the second half. Clingan finished the contest against New Britain with 17-points, 14-rebounds and 7-blocks in the win.

“I told him it was time to push this lead out to a comfortable margin and for him to take over, he did that right away and scored 13 of his points in the first 9 minutes of the second half,” said Barrette.

Clingan, who was heavily guarded throughout the game, was able to get his teammates involved in the first half.

“He didn’t need to be as aggressive on the offensive end trying to score. He got his teammates involved and passed out of the double and triple teams,” said Barrette.

Clingan, who also plays for the Boston Spartans, an AAU team out of Massachusetts, still has plenty of time until he has to make his mind up on where he will play collegiate basketball.

“I want Donovan to be able to enjoy being a 17 year old kid, not worry about collegiate choices every second of the day. He has remained humble through this process better than most kids could ever, and I can’t be prouder of him for this,” said Barrette.

Despite all the coverage Clingan receives he still continues to be the best player on and off the court at all times.

“Donovan is a sponge and film junky. He watches non-stop, trying to improve, and has the mental edge over his opponents. He also wants to be the best, and that quality is intrinsic, not something that is taught,” said Barrette.