Clingan named East’s Most Outstanding Player, continues to prove he’s a winner

If Donovan Clingan has proven anything over his past four years of basketball, it’s that he is a winner.

There were two CCC tournament championships and a Division II state title while he was with Bristol Central boys basketball team. With the UConn men’s basketball team, Clingan has won a national championship and is two wins away from a second consecutive title. The Huskies would be the first repeat champions since Florida (2006 and 2007).

So, yes, all Clingan does is win.

In 2021, Clingan and Bristol Central captured a CCC Tournament title against East Catholic-Manchester, 69-68, on a layup by the then junior in the final seconds. The Rams finished that season a perfect 15-0. Clingan finished with 33 points, 26 rebounds, seven blocks and five assists.

In the 2021-22 season, Central went 28-0 and beat Northwest Catholic-West Hartford in both the CCC and Division II state championship games. In the CCC final, Clingan went off for 45 points, 28 rebounds and six blocks. In the state final, he had 25 points, 24 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Clingan was part of 43 straight wins to end his high school career.

As a freshman, Clingan helped UConn capture its first national championship since 2014. Clingan was the backup to Adama Sanogo, the most outstanding player of the tournament and current two-way member of the Chicago Bulls. Clingan blocked 11 shots in limited playing time.

As a sophomore, Clingan has had a huge impact during a dominant UConn postseason run. He erupted for 22 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks in the Big East Tournament final against Marquette as the Huskies captured the championship. He had 19 points and eight rebounds in a first-round NCAA win over Stetson. The Northwestern game was insane with Clingan erupting for 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots. He should have had a triple-double, but wasn’t credited for a couple blocks. After going for eight points, eight rebounds and a block in the Sweet 16 rout of San Diego State, Clingan erupted for 22 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three steals in UConn’s convincing Elite 8 win over Illinois.

In seven postseason games, Clingan has 22 blocked shots. Twenty-two. That is absolutely insane.

Clingan was named the East Region’s Most Outstanding Player for his efforts. All this 7-foot-2 mountain of a man has done is prove he is a winner. It would be a bad idea to go against Clingan and UConn as long as the Bristol native is still in a Husky uniform.

Photo credit: UConn athletics.