Filipino-American Kihei Clark led the Virginia Cavaliers to victory, bringing home the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament 2019 championship trophy.
The Fil-Am point guard scored, assisted, and rebounded the ball for the Virginia Cavaliers against Texas Tech, with the team capping the series with the winning score of 85-77 during the April 8 finals game.
The young freshman was acknowledged as essential to the team’s winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2019. Clark contributed three points, four assists, and two rebounds in the final game of the tournament.
Virginia Cavaliers’ Kihei Clark, whose parental heritage is traced to Ilocos, is only the second Fil-Am to win the NCAA, after Raymond Townsend who won the U.S. national title with the UCLA Bruins in 1975.
In an interview with NCAA after the finals match, Clark said that they were able to win because of their composure and teamwork. “Our coach always says that unite and pursuit and that’s how we played,” Clark stated.
“It means a lot just to be known as one of the best players in history,” the young point guard said expressing his happiness over their victory.
Filipinos have been known for their love of basketball, with Filipino-Italian youths recently showing their love for basketball by joining Filipino teams and playing the game Pinoy-style abroad.
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