The ink was still drying on Rodney Billups’ contract to become the next men’s basketball coach at the University of Denver when he vowed to turn a benchwarmer into a focal point.

In March 2016, Billups agreed to return to his alma mater after spending six years as an assistant on Tad Boyle’s staff at Colorado. About an hour before he was formally introduced, Billups spoke to his team for the first time in the Pioneers’ locker room. Billups told them about his plans to scrap the Princeton style offense they’d been running under Joe Scott in favor of one that was faster and allowed for more freelancing.

Then Billups addressed the player who would be critical in helping the Pioneers make that transition.

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Christian Clark

Christian Clark is an Arlington, Texas, native who covers the Denver Nuggets for BSN Denver. Education: I graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in December 2014 with an emphasis in print and digital news. Career: My work has been featured in the Fort Worth-Star Telegram, The Oklahoman and Columbia Missourian, and online at and I came aboard at BSN Denver in November. Most memorable sports moment: Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. One sports movie I can’t live without: Tin Cup, do not @ me Most memorable experience as a reporter: Covering the Missouri football team’s boycott in 2015. It led to University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe’s resignation and had so many other ripple effects. The sport that started it all: Basketball. My sports-watching memories kick in with those early-2000s Dallas Mavericks teams. They had bad hair and scored a lot of points. Shout-out to Nellie Ball.