Clarke Overlander, the first Denton-area product to sign with the North Texas men’s team in more than a decade, has left the program and is considering transferring to another school.
UNT announced Wednesday that Overlander had asked to be released from his scholarship.
The former Argyle standout committed to UNT in the fall of 2011 when Johnny Jones was the Mean Green’s head coach.
Overlander played his only season with the Mean Green under Tony Benford, who took over the program after Jones left for LSU. The 6-foot-5-inch guard was the only Denton-area player to sign during Jones’ tenure at UNT that began in 2001.
“I want to thank my teammates, coach Benford and the staff at North Texas for the opportunities this season, but at this time, I feel like moving on might be the most beneficial thing for my playing career,” Overlander said in a statement. “My family and I appreciate all of the tremendous support we received from the fans and the entire North Texas community.”
Overlander was expected to develop into an outside shooting threat for UNT and was thrust into a larger role than expected as a freshman after senior guard Brandan Walton was lost for the year with a broken foot in a season-opening loss to Creighton.
Overlander played in 28 games, worked his way through a midseason knee injury and ended up averaging 1.1 points a game on 19.2 percent shooting. He made seven of his 46 3-point attempts.
Overlander played at least 10 minutes in the Mean Green’s first four games but played double-figure minutes just three other times.
Walton redshirted and will return next season, when UNT will have several other key wing guards returning, including starters Jordan Williams and Alzee Williams. T.J. Taylor also will be eligible after sitting out last season as a transfer following a stint at Marquette.
UNT lost four seniors to graduation and Tony Mitchell declared for the NBA draft. Now that Overlander has elected to leave, UNT has seven scholarship players scheduled to return.
Overlander went to UNT after leading Argyle to the Class 3A state title and being named the MVP of the state tournament.
Overlander could transfer to another school to continue playing. He would have to sit out a season if he transfers to another Division I school but could play right away at the Division II level.
Overlander is the second UNT player to leave the program in the last year. Trey Norris transferred to South Dakota before the season began.
“Clarke is a tremendous person with a great family, and we appreciate his contributions to this team,” Benford said in a statement. “I have no doubt that Clarke will be successful in whatever he chooses to do, and we wish him the best of luck.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter @brettvito.