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|Birthplace:||Wilmington, North Carolina|
|Draft:||1980 (8th Rd.)|
|Drafted By:||Dallas Mavericks|
Clarence Kea (born February 2, 1959 in Wilmington, North Carolina) was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the eighth round of the 1980 NBA draft.
Kea attended Lamar University where he played under legendary coach Billy Tubbs. While there Kea helped lead Lamar to three Southland Conference Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances including his senior season when they advanced to the sweet sixteen before losing to Clemson.
Named All-Southland Conference three times (second team his freshman and sophomore seasons and first team as a senior), Kea's name is still found all over the Lamar basketball record books. He is first all-time in rebounds with 1,814, second all-time in free throws made with 438, tied for second in games started and fourth in total points.
The Mavs drafted Kea in the eighth round in 1980 but his NBA career lasted only 51 games spread out over the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons.
Waived at the end if the Mavericks' first-ever training camp, he was resigned in February 1981 and appeared in 16 games averaging 7.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Kea's biggest night with Dallas came on March 8, 1981 when he had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Signed to a multi-year contract prior to the 1981-1982 season, his NBA career ended after appearing in 35 games that season where he averaged 2.3 ppg and 1.7 rpg.
Kea's biggest successes on the hardwoods came during his many years on the European basketball circuit. Between 1983 and 1994, he enjoyed stints in Italy, Israel, France, Spain and Turkey.
During his time in Italy, Kea led Roma to the 1983 Italian League title and in 1984 the EuroLeague Championship.
In a 2007 interview with Banco di Roma teammate Larry Wright (until last season the head coach at Grambling State) on the EuroLeague Championship team of 1984, Wright said, "Clarence was something because he always outplayed much taller opponents. In the championship game, Barcelona had a much taller front line but Clarence led the inside game for us by outrebounding all of them."
In Kea's player capsule on the EuroLeague.net website, he's called one of the best rebounders in Europe. Kea and Larry Wright were also cited as two of 100 nominees as the most important player in European Club history.
His success didn't end there. In 1987-1988 he led Limoges of France to the French League title, the French Cup and the Saporta Cup in an historic season.
Kea's best numbers as a pro actually came back in Italy in 1991 with Neutroroberts Firenze where he posted an 18.9 ppg and 13.9 rpg average over 30 games.
In 1988 Kea was honored by his alma mater when he was named to Lamar University's Cardinal Hall of Honor.