Brandon Clarke isn’t one of those basketball recruits that started getting noticed early in his career after a big showing at a club tournament or on the AAU circuit.

The Desert Vista senior grew into a Division I recruit and most the attention from college scouts didn’t happen until this summer.

And just days before the start of his senior school year begins, Clarke found a destination as he committed to San Jose State this week.

“I really didn't start getting DI looks until this summer, but I ended up getting a lot of looks from colleges,” Clarke said. “And it's awesome knowing that all my hard work has finally paid off.”

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots and 2.0 steals last season for the Thunder. He shot 59 percent (66 of 112) from the field and 71 percent of his free throws (36 of 51).

Clarke chose San Jose St. over Santa Clara and Northeastern. The Spartans went 7-24, including a 1-17 record in the Mountain West, last season under Dave Wojcik. The only Arizona product currently on the roster is Tempe’s Jordan Baker.

“I chose them because I love the area, the campus, and the coaches there seemed right for me,” Clarke said.

Getting the decision made and done with will allow him to play with an ease of mind this winter.

“I committed now to help relieve pressure and so I can have a more relaxing senior year,” he said.

The Thunder are coming off a 16-12 season and will enter next year with big expectations under new coach Tony Darden as Clarke mixes well with senior Quincy Taylor and sophomore Caleb Simmons.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter at JSkodaAFN.

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