Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.

Email Patrick.

Patrick Plus: Archie Clark was a two-sport Gopher

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: July 6, 2014 - 9:06 AM

Archie Clark was a 6-foot-2 guard and among the best basketball players in University of Minnesota history. He arrived on campus in the fall of 1962, joining Lou Hudson and Don Yates as the first black students to receive basketball scholarships from the Gophers.

Freshmen were ineligible for varsity competition, so it was the winter of 1963-64 before there was a modern feel to what college basketball had to offer inside Williams Arena.

What’s generally overlooked with Clark’s athletic career was that he was also the center fielder for Dick Siebert’s baseball team, including as a sophomore for the national championship team of 1964.

I talked to Clark a few days ago about his dual athletic career at Minnesota and he said: “I really wanted to be a baseball player. If I had hit the way I did as a kid, I would’ve played baseball. I was pretty darn good in high school, but I couldn’t find the same swing in college.

“I know the reason for that. I spent three years in the Army and only was able to play basketball. I didn’t swing a bat from my senior year in high school until I joined the Gophers 3 ½ years later.’’

Clark chuckled through his cell phone and said: “When people mention baseball to me, I say, ‘I was a four-tool player. I could steal bases, run down the ball in center, throw, hit with a little power, but I never had the consistency as a hitter. That made basketball the sport to pursue for me.’’

The pursuit turned out well. Clark played 11 seasons in the NBA, and was a two-time All-Star.

Clark turns 73 on July 15. He lives in his hometown of Ecorse, Mich., the father of eight children, with 12 grandchildren.

“I still look back with pride at that College World Series,’’ Clark said. “We were underdogs from the first game, against Texas A&M. There’s nothing better than winning like that.’’

Lou Hudson died in April, to Archie’s great sadness. “We came in together and were roommates,’’ Clark said. “I was three years older. To me, Lou was my little brother.’’


Gophers basketball jerseys that need retirement:

Archie Clark, No. 21 (1963-66): He was a tremendous second wheel to Lou Hudson, then averaged 24.5 points per game as a senior when Hudson broke his shooting hand.

Willie Burton, No. 34 (1986-90): Clem Haskins’ first star and part of my all-time starting five for Gophers. Returned to U to get a degree, and a jersey ceremony is sure to follow.

Randy Breuer, No. 45 (1979-83): The 7-foot-2 Breuer has his name all over Gophers’ career lists. Every bit the college big man as was Kevin McHale.


Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Weekly Question