November 14, 2012

McClinton inks with Wake

Winston-Salem native Greg McClinton fulfilled a childhood dream Tuesday, Nov. 14 when he signed a national letter of intent with Wake Forest.

"I've been a Wake fan since I was a youngster," McClinton said. "I remember going to watch them play at a young age."

"It feels good to have it out of the way. Now I can just focus and keep working on my game and getting better, so next year when I get there I can help out. There's no more worries, no more phone calls, none of that. It just feels good."

The 6-foot-6 and 185-pound McClinton, who is rated as a three-star recruit and the nation's No. 23 small forward by, has been committed to the Demon Deacons since Monday, June 18 when he chose Wake over Louisville, Missouri, Xavier and others.

"Coach [Rusty] LaRue did a great job in recruiting him," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "He grew up a Wake Forest fan. He sees where the program is headed and wants to be a part of it. Everything just kind of fit, and once he became comfortable with seeing our young guys and understanding where we're going and how we're getting there he saw that it was a great opportunity for him."

McClinton's relationship with LaRue was certainly a key factor in the local product's decision. LaRue coached him at Forsyth Country Day before joining the Demon Deacon coaching staff.

"I can talk to him [LaRue] about anything, about life," McClinton said in a prior interview with Deacons Illustrated. "He's always there for me. Anytime I need something I can call and talk to him about it. He's a big help when it comes to my game and my shot. He's always helped me with it, like drills, stuff to do for my shot. That's one of my weaknesses, so I just talk to him about a lot of stuff."

McClinton is working to improve his jump-shot and strength, so he can contribute right away.

"Whatever they need me to do I'm sure I can do it," McClinton said. "I'll try my best to get it done. He [Bzdelik] just tells me all the time to keep working. Once I get there I can help out, and I'll do whatever needs to be done. He just told me to keep working on what I'm doing now."

The rangy wing, who transferred from Winston-Salem Prep to Hargrave Military Academy, added that his time in Chatham, Va. has been eye-opening and is preparing him for college life.

"It's always a priority of ours to keep the great local talent at home, and we accomplished that in signing Greg," Bzdelik said. "He's an elite athlete, and he's been under the tutelage of really, really great programs, Andre Gould at Winston-Salem Prep, the CP3 AAU program and now under A.W. Hamilton at Hargrave, so his skill, development and his high basketball IQ he's learned that from those great programs. He's constantly working on his game. He has a chance to be a special one."

"We're getting up down the court and with great young guard-play and that should have a wing salivating to be quite honest with you in terms of especially someone like Greg, who really gets up and down the court."

McClinton is sure he can do whatever the team needs from him, and said he give his best.

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