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Former Verdigris basketball star Clarke retires after storied career

Jan. 9—Verdigris High School's basketball legend, Rotnei Clarke, renowned as Oklahoma's all-time high school scoring leader, has officially retired after a decade-long professional basketball career.

Clarke, who amassed a staggering 3,758 points during his tenure at Verdigris, culminating in a state championship in 2008, has decided to hang up his jersey at the age of 34, citing the toll on his body as a determining factor.

His basketball journey continued with notable achievements, becoming a three-time Metro Player of the Year in the Tulsa World. Transitioning to college, Clarke contributed 1,864 points across his college career, playing for Arkansas before making a pivotal move to Butler, where he excelled with a career-high scoring average of 16.9 points and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament's second round in 2013.

Clarke's professional endeavors spanned across Australia, Belgium, Germany and culminated in Italy before he made the decision to retire from playing. Now residing in Stillwater, Clarke has embarked on a new career path as a State Farm Insurance agent, celebrating the inauguration of his new office with a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Expressing the desire to settle down, Clarke emphasized the importance of being present for his children as they grow older.

His relocation to Stillwater also enables him to support his longtime friend Keiton Page, an assistant coach at OSU, referring to their shared pursuit of basketball glory in their high school years. Clarke and Page, both Tulsa World co-state players of the year in '08, captivated basketball enthusiasts with their quest for high school scoring records, leaving an indelible mark on the state's basketball history.

The Tulsa World contributed to this report.