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One year after leading Nevada to a 23-4 record and an appearance in a Missouri Class 4 district championship game, 2018 forward Clay Gayman has emerged as one of southwest Missouri’s premier players.
A strong, physical 6’6 forward, Gayman has a motor that never stops, defends, plays above the rim at both of the floor, blocks shots, dunks, can shoot the 3 and is nearly impossible to stop one-on-one in the post.
He averaged 25 points and 14 rebounds a year ago, then put together a strong summer competing for the KC Pacers. He recently committed to play at Abilene Christian, an NCAA Division I school located in Abilene, Texas., and chose the school over offers from nearly every Division II program in the region.
He is one of three players in the region who have committed to play at Abilene Christian, joining Hogan Prep point guard Damien Daniels and Blue Valley Northwest forward Joe Pleasant to commit to the program.
“I committed with (head coach Joe) Golding,” he said. “I’ve had a great time talking with the staff. I love the campus. I’ve loved everything I’ve heard. It’s a great Christian environment. I’m just thankful for the Lord for giving me that opportunity to play.”
For now however, Gayman is focused on the upcoming season in which he will team with his younger brother, 2020 6’5 forward Dalton Gayman, 6’3, 210-pound senior forward Hunter Mason, who has committed to play football at Western Illinois, and others to lead the Tigers. Gayman says he hopes to lead Nevada to a district title.
“We lost in our district championship to a very solid Grandview team (last year),” Gayman said. “It was kind of a letdown, but we are looking to get back. But we’re looking to get that championship this year for the first time in over 20 years.”