UConn freshman center Donovan Clingan working hard on and off the court

UConn freshman center Donovan Clingan putting in the work on and off the court
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:14 PM EDT
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BRISTOL, CT (WFSB) - It’s hard to miss Donovan Clingan playing on the Huskies standing at seven foot two.

Clingan is a freshman from Connecticut who went to Bristol Central High.

The school is certainly rooting him on while playing for the Huskies.

Channel 3 traveled to Bristol High where Clingan dominated the court.

During his time in high school, he was named the best player in CT two years in a row.

According to the people at the school, Clingan was a great player and young man.

They say he has the dunks, blocks, and physicality but an even greater work ethic.

It’s at Bristol Central where Clingan realized he had hoop dreams.

“He came every single morning to work out before school,” said Ryan Broderick, Asst. Principal at Bristol Central.

Broderick noticed Donovan’s intense work ethic immediately.

“I couldn’t beat him here. If I got here at 5:42 he was here at 5:39. If I was here at 5:44 he was here at 5:41,” Broderick said.

Clingan wakes up at 5 in the morning to workout, and even picking up his teammates on the way to school.

He is a team leader that put in the work in every way which brought him to play for UConn.

He has contributed to the Huskies NCAA Tournament run, and will be out there tonight against Arkansas.

Aside from the fans cheering on, his biggest fan and sister Olivia Clingan is in full support of her brother.

“I think they just see an intense version of him,” said Olivia. “But when you’re watching in warmups, he’s dancing around. He’s just a fun goofy kid.”

Olivia is a senior at Bristol Central.

Their mother, Stacey, died in 2018.

“I think from my mom passing very young we kind of molded together where we’re best friends instead of siblings,” said Olivia.

Clingan’s freshman year success isn’t a surprise to the ones who know him.

He comes off the bench for the Huskies and has been a crucial part of the group which has Final Four aspirations.

Clingan even mentioned his Bristol roots while the team is in Las Vegas.

“I go a month and I just want to go home and say hi to my peoples and stuff,” said Clingan.

Pete Wininger coached Donovan in travel ball and is Bristol Central’s principal.

“He’s a better kid and better human than he is a basketball player and I think that’s saying a lot,” said Wininger.

“He’s dreamed of this as a little kid and his dreams are coming true,” Olivia said.

He had offers from all over the country last year, but he chose to stay home and play for Connecticut.