It all started with a pain in her leg.
Clarin was a junior in high school, and went shopping on Christmas Eve for presents with her father and her best friend.
“I could hardly walk,” she said. “I was limping everywhere.”
After returning home, she went to bed. When Christmas morning arrived, the pain had not subsided.
“I woke up the next day and couldn’t move and had a terrible pain in my side. I’ve never felt a pain like that.”
They weren’t celebrating Christmas that day because her mom had to work, so she went back to bed until 5 p.m., when she finally told her dad she needed to go to the hospital.
At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism – or a blood clot in the lung – which if not treated could end in death.
She was promptly driven via ambulance to the University of Minnesota, where she stayed in the hospital for four days.
“They told me they didn’t know if I would ever play basketball again because I would be on blood thinners for a long time.”
One month later, she was on the basketball court, and as a senior she’d be a McDonald’s All-America nominee and a candidate for the Minnesota Miss Basketball award.
“Any life [changing] event like that is going to make you view things differently,” she said. “I think that’s probably when I realized how important my family and my faith is, just embracing every moment.”
So it seems that two separate incidents on Christmas – a camera as a gift and the other a near death experience – have greatly shaped Clarin’s life ultimately in a positive way.
Clarin and the Jackrabbits return to action in the Summit League tournament as the No. 2 seed against No. 7 Denver, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Sioux Falls.