Kihei Clark Adds To His Virginia Legacy As He Reaches 111 Wins … And Counting

Virginia Cavaliers Kihei Clark
Kihei Clark dialed up 20 points and 5 assists in the win against Virginia Tech. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/

Kihei Clark is listed as a generous 5’10” on the roster. He wears No. 0, the lowest number available. Yet, no matter how small certain numbers associated with him are, there are going to be some giant numbers by his name in the end at Virginia.

On Wednesday night, Clark picked up the 111th victory of his UVA basketball career. That moved him past Mamadi Diakite as the program’s all-time leader in career wins. It also gave him the Virginia record for all-time ACC wins with 65 conference W’s to his credit. He could pass Duke’s Shane Battier for the most in conference history if he gets to 71 league wins.

Like his coach Tony Bennett did a few days ago when he became Virginia’s all-time winningest coach, Clark redirected the spotlight to his teammates that have helped him pile up so many victories in orange and blue.

“Kind of like what Coach Bennett said, it’s a team award,” Clark said. “With the players I’ve been playing with from my first year up until now, I mean I played with some great guys. It means a lot to just be in that conversation of course.”

Soon, Clark will become the ACC’s all-time leader in minutes played as he eclipsed Duke’s Bobby Hurley for third this week and needs only 77 minutes to surpass the Blue Devils’ Kyle Singler for the top spot. Clark is now up to 29th on UVA’s all-time scoring list (Tony Laquintano 1,263) with 1,278 points. With 44 more assists, he will become the Virginia career leader for assists ahead of John Crotty, who had 683 as a Cavalier.

Obviously, Clark is enjoying a fifth year of eligibility due to the pandemic year waiver for all players and that has helped him add to his legacy, but it’s quite a list of accomplishments for someone that was barely recruited at the high major level until Bennett made an offer that brought him to Virginia.

“Great. There has to be an asterisk by that because he’s getting five years and those guys only got four so I’ve got to stand up a little bit for Ty [Jerome] and London [Perrantes], and Mamadi,” Bennett said with a smile. “But he’s such a competitor, Kihei is. Just like Ty when you look across the court and you see him, then you think of Kihei, they’re an important part of the fabric of this program and what’s taken place and hopefully what will continue. A guy his size doesn’t get to where he is without having a fierce side of him, a competitor – he wants to win and that’s what he’s done most of his career.”

While Bennett joked about the asterisk that will be brought up with the varying milestones, he noted that Clark’s competitiveness has never been a joking matter. ACC coaches likely haven’t seen it as a laughing matter, though many have heaped praise in his direction over the years as the wins have accumulated at their expense. Several have told reporters that they poked fun at facing Clark by telling him they don’t want to ever see him again on the court.

The Virginia senior has learned to take that type of compliment in stride.

“I mean I guess it’s a compliment so they’re just tipping their hat to you,” Clark said. “You just acknowledge it, but obviously it feels good. Obviously, you’re doing something right if they don’t want to play against you.”

A few guards certainly would like to forget moments in their matchup against him this season. In recent games, he’s made clean steals and turned them into layups against Houston, Albany, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. He did it twice