By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
Today's Q&A Session is with former LSU basketball player Clarence Ceasar who played for the Tigers from 1991-92 through 1994-95. Ceasar played forward for the Tigers under Dale Brown and played a key role for the Tigers on both ends of the court. He is a member of both the 1,000 point club at LSU and 500 rebound club.. 20th in career scoring with 1,343 points. He played in 112 games while averaging 12 points per game along with 2.1 assist and six rebounds per contest. On defense, Ceasar was as tough as they come. He would lead the team in steals all four seasons totaling 310 in his career, a LSU and SEC record that still stands today.
Ceasar would end up with a five year international pro basketball career that took him from Turkey and Hungary to Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay.
Later, after returning to the U.S., Ceasar would end up playing defensive end in the NIFL (National Indoor Football League) for the Lake Charles Land-Sharks for two seasons.
Today Clarence Ceasar lives in Iowa, Louisiana and his son, Cejae just committed to play football and run track at UL....
Q - What is your favorite TV Show?
Clarence - Yellowstone
Q - What is your favorite Food?
Clarence - Seafood
Q - Your Favorite Pro Athlete?
Clarence - When I was younger it was Michael Jordan, But now it's hard to say now that I'm older. I would have to say it's Tom Brady now.
Q - Your favorite sports team?
Clarence - All things Louisiana. I just love watching sports in this State. I'm a true supporter of Louisiana sports.
Q - Your favorite Movie?
Clarence - That's a tough one.. It would have to be Armageddon....
Q - Who is your favorite Actor?
Clarence - Denzel Washington
Q - Who is your favorite Music Artist/Group?
Clarence - I love the Zac Brown Band. Believe it or not I love country music. That blows people's mind. A little bit of "Chicken Fried"....
Q - When you were a little boy, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Clarence - I wanted to grow up to be a major league baseball player. People that know me know that my first love is baseball. I was probably better at baseball then I was at basketball.
Q - I see you were Iowa, Louisiana. Did you grow up and live there all your life?
Clarence - Yes
Q - When you attended Iowa High School did you play multiple sports?
Clarence - Yes. I played basketball, ran track, and played baseball....
Q - Is there any team or personal accomplishments you would like to tell us about while playing athletics in high school?
Clarence - We didn't win anything until my senior year. We won District, undefeated and got into the playoffs, but came up short. Personally I was named All-District and All-State every year, and my last two years I was named District MVP. I also had the opportunity to play in the Dapper Dan Classic. I was glad to represent Louisiana, so I finished up being an All-American.
Q - Tell us a little about your recruiting process. How was that experience?
Clarence - It really started kind of funny. In Lake Charles they would have this Athletic Banquet where they would recognize the best kids in all sports, from football to track and field and of course I got the basketball award. It was held at McNeese and the McNeese basketball coach, his name was Steve Welch, told me that he really like the way I play, if I would consider the McNeese State Cowboys when I graduate. He thought I was a senior, but I was only a freshmen. He was like.. "What!?" ... So needless to say in my sophomore year my first letter was from McNeese. Then it just took off from there. I was recruited hard by all schools in Louisiana and by every school in the SEC. I talked to Coach Pitino at Kentucky often. Talked Coach Nolan Richardson at Arkansas. I was heavily recruited. It was a great experience. I explain to my son to just enjoy the process and he did. I'm glad I went through it so I could explain it to him. It was a fun process for me. I took all of my visits even though I knew where I was going. It was a chance to see different cultures and different parts of the Country. My recruitment was fun.
Q - Were you recruited in multiple sports?
Clarence - I was recruited in baseball as well, but I really didn't give it any mind. Like I mentioned, that was a childhood dream, but once I got to middle school and realized that I could play basketball, I was dunking in 8th grade. So even though I loved baseball, I found out at a young age that basketball was the sensible way to go.
Q - What made you choose LSU over everyone else?
Clarence - Dale.. Dale and Jonny Jones. Jonny Jones recruited me. When I took my visit to LSU, Coach Brown made it feel like home. I loved that he would come to my high school games. The thing I loved about Coach Brown was that he always kept his word. He told my mom, ... "If he comes to Baton Rouge, he'll leave here a boy, but he will return here a man. He will be able to take care of family and be a big part of the community."
It's not about the wins and the losses to me. It is about the character of the man. Dale Brown is that guy.
Q - I remember your first game as a LSU Tiger, the team was down late to Northeast Louisiana and you came in the game and hit several three pointers late to win the game, 77-76. What are some of your favorite moments as a LSU basketball player?
Clarence - I have so many. It's playing in the Pete Mac and in the SEC alone you have more then one memory. I remember
going to Alabama and see Coach Wimp Sanders in that plaid jacket and those guys were loaded with Robert Horry, Sprewell, and James Robinson, Jason Caffey. Arkansas had Todd Day, Oliver Miller, Lee Mayberry. Every night was a challenge. Tennessee had Allen Houston. Every night was a challenge and that's what made it fun.
But I have to say my best moment was during my freshmen year in the Super Dome against Texas. We were down by one with like 15 seconds left in the game. Texas was inbounding the ball by our goal to run the clock out and I stole the inbound pass and laid it up and in for the winning basket. 84-83 victory. That was in the Super Dome in front of 79,000. That was my fondest memory. stealing that ball, scoring, and getting back on defense.
Everyone likes to talk about the Kentucky game when we were up by 31. It happened on Fat Tuesday, and my response is always, "Hey, I had a hell of a game." It was a shock. Imagine to be on the floor for it. Even though it was a loss, it's a fond memory. I can sit back now and say I'm a part of history. I'm on the wrong side of it. A lot of athletes are on the wrong side of history. That's the NCAA's greatest comeback, I take it and love it.
Q - What was it like playing with guys like Shaquille O'Neal, Vernel Singleton, TJ Pugh, and Maurice Williamson during your freshmen season?
Clarence - Coach Brown recruits great character guys. It was fun on that team because it was a team of characters. Vernel was the band-aid man, of course Shaq was Shaq. Even though we were a team, everyone had their own personality. It was awesome. The dorm life was great. We all hung out together. If you saw one of us, then you would probably see two or three of us. It wasn't like after practice everyone went their own way. No... We all pretty much hung out together all the time. So as a true freshmen to come in and have that kind of brotherhood, it was awesome. It made the transition easy for me.
Q - So do you keep in touch with a lot of your old LSU teammates?
Clarence - Oh yes.. We are all friends on Facebook or Instagram. Maurice Williamson and I keep in touch the most through Facebook. He goes to fish up there in Connecticut and I joke with him about that. He is actually pretty good. He sends me pictures of some big fish that he catches up there.
Q - After your LSU career ended did you play basketball at the next level?
Clarence - I did. If you remember I came out at a bad time. The NBA was going through a lockout. It forced me to go to Europe. I went to Turkey. When the lockout was over I came back and went to camp with the Indiana Pacers. That didn't work out so I went back to Europe. I played all over the world. South America, Europe. I lived in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela. I lived in Belgium, Amsterdam, Holland, Turkey, Greece.. Basketball was good to me, so I have no complaints.
Q - How many seasons did you play in Europe?
Clarence - Like four or five.. Once I became a father I shut it down. I love basketball, but I wasn't in love with basketball. I see a lot of times when guys just can't let it go. I had no problem walking away from it.
Q - Tell us about your life after basketball?
Clarence - Yes.. Like I said, once I became a father it was time to put the ball down. Now lets get realistic, if it was NBA money, then no. You keep playing to take care of your family. But I felt like it was time for me to put the ball down and be a dad because I couldn't be the dad that I wanted to be bouncing around Europe outside of America. I took pride in being a father. I hit the work force. It was great. I hit the ground running and never looked back. I was a high school basketball coach for 14 years. I was an educator. I was a safety man in a refinery in Lake Charles. Today I'm the Director of Human Relations for the City of Lake Charles in the Mayors office. I'm raising my kids and I have grandkids. I love being paw paw. There is nothing like it. Nothing like the sound of "paw paw." I tell all the guys that don't have them that it's a different type of love. You love your kids, but those grand babies is a different kind of love.
Q - Is there anything you would like to tell the LSU fans?
Clarence - I'm a proud paw paw and a proud father of a Ragin' Cajun. I had to take off my purple shirt and put on a red one... But hey, I still bleed purple and gold. I bleed purple and gold, but I'm got to support my son to the end..
I'm pretty simple. I've always been a simple guy. In a nut shell that's just how I live. A father, grandfather, husband, a quiet life. I'm living a dream man. I love being a parent, I love being a grandparent, I love being a husband. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm a true small town Louisiana boy.
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