Ex-NBA Player Keon Clark Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIDecember 4, 2013

SACRAMENTO, CA - MAY 10:   Keon Clark #7 of the Sacramento Kings smiles in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at Arco Arena on May 10, 2003 in Sacramento, California. The Mavericks defeated the Kings (in double overtime) 141-137.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice:  Copyright 2003 NBAE (Photo by:  Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Former NBA player Keon Clark—who played for four teams during six professional seasons from 1998-2004—was sentenced to an eight-year prison term Wednesday.

According to an article by Noelle McGee of The News-Gazette, Clark was sentenced “after pleading guilty to weapons and driving under the influence charges in two separate cases.”

The 38-year-old, who played for the Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz, “faced 10 weapons, drugs and driving-related charges stemming from one 2012 case and four 2013 cases,” according to McGee.

After pleading guilty, Clark was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on two separate counts. Those terms must be served consecutively, per McGee’s article.

Clark was quoted as saying, "I, uh, did a lot of stuff in my past,” and, “I have to own up to it.”

Clark's attorneys recommended the judge place Clark in a rehabilitation facility, per McGee:

Both of Clark's attorneys — Jim Martinkus of Champaign and Alfred D. Ivy III of Urbana — asked the judge to recommend that Clark be placed at a Department of Corrections-run drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility outside of Chicago so he can continue receiving substance abuse treatment.

Clark has been dealing with personal demons dating back to his playing career.

According to a December 2007 article by ESPN, Clark said in Vermillion County Circuit Court that he was an alcoholic and "was drinking a half pint to a pint of gin daily when he was playing pro basketball."

"I never played a game sober, unfortunately," Clark said.

Despite his flaws, Clark was no slouch on the basketball court.

The big man’s best NBA season came in 2001-02 with the Raptors when he averaged 11.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest in 81 games played (all career highs).

He was drafted in the first round, 13th overall by the Orlando Magic in 1998.