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Q&A With USC Athletics Hall of Famer Sam Clancy

Jun 15, 2020

USC men's basketball alum and 2018 USC Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Sam Clancy Jr. took over the @USCHoops Instagram account to answer some questions from fans.

Here are the highlights:

Q: What made you decide to come out west to USC?
A: I decided to come to USC because I just loved Coach [Henry] Bibby and the coaching staff and the way he envisioned the program. And the beaches.

Q: What was your favorite game of your USC career?
A: My favorite game at SC was when we made our tournament run in 2001 and we beat Kentucky in the Sweet 16 to advance to play Duke in the Elite 8. That was a great game.

Q: Who was your favorite opponent to play against?
A: I loved to play against UCLA and Matt Barnes and all the guys over there. We used to have our battles back in the day and I used to have some of my best games.

Q: Who is the best USC basketball player of all time?
A: I think the best USC basketball player of all time was Harold Minor, Baby Jordan. For all of you young kids out there who don't know who he is, I advise you to go look at some of his YouTube highlights. He was really amazing.

Q: Who is your all-time USC starting five?
A: I have to go with myself, Taj Gibson, DeMar DeRozan, O.J. Mayo and Harold Miner.

Q: Who were your favorite USC teammates?
A: My favorite has got to be Brandon Granville, because he knew to pass me the ball if he wanted those assists. The funniest teammate was Desmon Farmer. He always knew how to lighten the mood and make guys laugh. [Brian] Scalabrine was my teammate for three years. I love him. My guys are also [Brandon] Granville, [Jeff] Trepagnier, David Blu, Jerry Dupree. Those are all my guys. I love them all.

Q: Is there a story to the No. 50 you wore?
A: When I started playing basketball, the biggest jerseys were the highest numbers. And I had success wearing No. 50. It just stuck. There's no superstition to it.

Q: Thoughts on the current state of USC Hoops?
A: I love the direction under Coach Enfield. Three 20-win seasons. We can't expect much more. We're starting to get those bragging rights back on our side of town where they belong.

Q: How far can USC go next year?
A: I think the sky's the limit. College basketball is wide open right now. We've got the No. 1 recruit in the nation. Team's getting better and better. I think it's time to make a long tournament run.

Q: What were your thoughts on Big O? And how good can Isaiah Mobley be?
A: I love Big O's game. I think it's going to translate well to the next level and be very successful. And Isaiah Mobley, I think the sky's the limit. I think the college game is all about finding yourself, finding out what you do well and gaining confidence. He's going to be good.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Galen Center?
A: I love the Galen Center. It's a beautiful facility. State of the art. I'm just jealous that I never got a chance to play there.

Q: What are you up to these days?
A: I've been playing professionally for the last 18 years. I've spent the last eight years playing in Argentina. Old man's still playing!

Q: How hard was it to transition to the international basketball style?
A: It was a tough adjustment to overseas basketball. Took probably about two or three years. They have different rules, they call the game different, and every country plays the game in a different style.

Q: What's your favorite international location you've played in?
A: I've been fortunate enough to play in 10 different countries on four different continents. I have to say my favorite place is Argentina. I love all the cities there, I love the people, I love the culture.

Q: What's the funniest international location you've played in?
A: The funniest place I played was probably Caracas, Venezuela. It was my first time out of the country and that gym had no walls, just a roof. First day of practice, there was a spider monkey crawling in the rafters.

Q: Olympics has a 3-on-3 tourney, they want you and two others from any era. Who are they?
A: I gotta go with Wilt Chamberlain, because he's going to block every shot. And Michael Jordan, because he's going to score all the points. And I'm going to sit there and make them both look good.

Q: Who is your favorite USC football player of all time?
A: Ronnie Lott. I grew up a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. I love his toughness and hard hitting.

Q: Who is the best NBA player of all time?
A: The GOAT is Michael Jeffrey Jordan. It's no question.