Ex-NBA player Keon Clark tries to turn life around

DANVILLE, Ill. — Former NBA player Keon Clark says he’s trying to turn his life around after landing in jail on new weapon, drug and traffic-related charges.

The Danville native has been in the Vermilion County Jail since Aug. 4, where he’s being held on $100,000 bond. A hearing is scheduled Wednesday on a possible plea deal, which Clark said he still hasn’t accepted.

Clark was 23 when he became the 13th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft. He last played for the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.

He has spoken publicly of his long battle with alcohol, which he says also occurred during his NBA career.

“I have been clean and sober for five months,” Clark told The (Champaign) News-Gazette during an interview. “I have made changes for the better mentally.”

The 38-year-old says wasn’t prepared mentally to handle the lifestyle of a professional athlete, and says he was already on a “destructive path.”

“The money, the fame, the fact that I was on TV. People think money will make your life better. Money didn’t dissolve my problems. It increased them,” he said, adding that he’s been getting counseling while he’s in custody.


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