Small Town Stars Shine In Division-I

Wednesday, December 31st 2008, 7:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Kyle Dierking,

UNDATED -- Last season it was Verdigris' Rotnei Clarke and Pawnee's Keiton Page putting up points and lots of them. Clarke claimed Oklahoma's career scoring record. Page had the best points per game average. Both had state championships to boot.

"It can't get better than that. That's how you want to end your high school career," Page said. "We both had successful careers all four years as well. That's also something you can look back on and enjoy."

So how could two small town stars fare on the big stage of Division-I basketball? Page is the first guy off the bench for Oklahoma State University. The night visited him, Page had 11 points and nailed a pair of three pointers against Arkansas State.

"It was kind of shaky at first not knowing how it'd be being the only freshman with these guys," Page said. "They've brought me in and they've taken care of me real well. It's going good."

180 miles away and 24 hours later, Clarke lit it up from three-point land when his Arkansas Razorbacks upset fourth-ranked Oklahoma. He finished with 15 points, was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and was looking forward to bragging to his best bud Keiton.

"I'll probably scream at him because he didn't think we could do it," Clarke said. "With both of us being from Oklahoma, he knew it'd be a big win for me being here at Arkansas."

"We just usually call each other after every game," Page said. "We just talk about the game and how it went. Not too much critiquing. Just a good job here and a good job there."

There's plenty of praise to go around. The bond between two small-town, basketball playing boys that have now made it to the big time will never be broken.

"Him and I have a life-long relationship and we'll continue to be best friends on and off the court no matter where we end up in life," Clarke said.