April 14, 2010

McClellan Pulls the Trigger

Kevin McCarthy

Last Thursday was probably an ordinary 24 hours for most people. But it’s one that a young man from Fresno will remember for a long time and his hope is that he and his future teammates will provide Cal State Fullerton hoops fans with a basketful of great memories.

Edison High’s (Fresno) Steve McClellan tripped to Orange County late last week, like what he saw and quickly decided to cast his lot with Coach Bob Burton’s Titan hoops program. A 6-foot-8 senior, the burly McClellan will add strength and bulk at the four spot for Fullerton.

Fullerton returns a senior frontline in 2010-2011 consisting of bigs Sean Williams at 6-11 and 6-foot-10 Bryce Webster, plus 6-foot-6 JerVaughn Johnson at the four spot. Incoming frontcourt talent and depth are needs for Burton’s recruiting class this go-around.

That’s where McClellan comes in focus.

photo of Steve McClellan McClellan will have an early opportunity at Fullerton

"I chose Fullerton because it was a really good fit for me," McClellan explained, adding "there should be a lot of playing time available for me as a freshman if I do well. I want to major in communications and the Los Angeles area is great for that. Plus, it’s fairly close to home, being four hours away."

McClellan is an “aspiring ESPN broadcaster” and believes an education at Fullerton will position him for such a role.

He added to his game this just-completed Edison season, "extending my offense to include a good mid-range game and improving my defense and ballhandling." Asked about his foremost skills, McClellan offered, "rebounding and working hard."

Here’s Arturo Ormond, the Edison High boys basketball coach on his protégé: "Steve’s strengths are his understanding of the game as he has the rare ability to play without the ball in his hand. That and his high level rebounding. He is a great leader by example and is all about the team."

"Steve McClellan is an all-around skilled and strong post player with great basketball instincts," according to Aalim Moor II, the CEO of the Bay Area Hoosiers, McClellan’s club basketball team. "He is a consummate team player and all-around good guy with a mature personal demeanor. Steve was a game-changer for us because he provided the low post presence we needed last year, allowing Dominique Lee to step away from the post and play the wing. Coach Burton is definitely going to be pleased with him and Coach Ormond has done a wonderful job."

McClellan has a number of people he wishes to acknowledge: "I want to thank the whole Bay Area Hoosier organization for helping me a lot, Coach Ormond for all he has done for me, [former EBO club team mentor] Darren Matsubara and my mother and brother."

This isn’t the first go-around for the McClellan family. It’s a basketball family, as brother Darshawn is a 6-foot-7 frontcourter heading into his senior season at Vanderbilt.

Asked about his best basketball memory or memories, McClellan offered the three section championships Edison won during his high school days. Soon, he’ll be trying to create a similar reminiscence Titan style.