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Former UConn star: Dan Hurley told me to ‘get the hell out of here’ and join NBA

Donovan Clingan wanted to contend for a three-peat, but Dan Hurley was having none of it.

The former UConn star helped the Huskies to a second straight national championship earlier this year.

For a second straight year, the Huskies won every tournament game by double-digits and won their sixth title in school history.

The big man cemented himself as not just a lottery pick, but a top-10 selection in the draft with his performance in the tournament, averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Clingan spent two seasons at UConn, and he was looking for a third title.

But Hurley knocked some sense into him.

“I went into Coach Hurley’s office, and I was like, ‘Yo coach, I’ll come back. I’ll go for another one.’ He’s like ‘You’re out of your mind, bro. Get the hell out of here.’ And I guess I had to go,” Clingan told the “Knuckleheads Podcast,” hosted by ex-NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles.

Donovan Clingan reacts on court

“It was probably like four days after we had won the title, but you know I was sad. I didn’t want to leave that place. I love UConn, Coach Hurley, the staff, the people around me and my teammates. Every time I walk in that building, it’s home. I went back twice last week, and I still feel like I’m part of the team.”

Clingan went seventh to the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night. The 7-foot-2 shot-altering stud averaged 13 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game last season for the Huskies, expanding his offensive skills to complement his dominant defense.

He will now share a frontcourt with Deandre Ayton and Jerami Grant, along with last year’s second overall pick, Scoot Henderson.

Clingan at draft

Portland finished last in the Western Conference last year at 21-61 after parting ways with Damian Lillard.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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