Former UNLV basketball player Clint Clausen, a reserve forward on Jerry Tarkanian’s final UNLV team in 1992, died of a heart attack late Friday. He was 44.
Clausen, the stepson of Las Vegas attorney and close Tarkanian friend Chuck Thompson, played two seasons for the Rebels and appeared in 24 games, totaling 12 points and 13 rebounds in limited minutes. He remained on the team when Rollie Massimino took over as coach in 1992.
“Clint was a great person and a great teammate,” said UNLV coach Dave Rice, an assistant on the 1991-92 team that went 26-2. “Everyone respected Clint for what he gave the team, and he loved being a Rebel.”
After graduation in 1993, Clausen became involved in the restaurant business. He managed the upscale Italian restaurant Bertolini’s in Las Vegas, followed by a position managing Michael Mina’s restaurants at the Bellagio and MGM Grand.
He then was director of operations at Innovative Dining Group before relocating to Los Angeles to assume the senior vice president of restaurant and nightlife operations position for SBE Entertainment.
Clausen opened his own restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Calif., in early 2010. Four Daughters Kitchen quickly became a popular dining spot for celebrity athletes and entertainers who lived in the neighborhood. Later that year, Clausen helped oversee the opening of the restaurants at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Clausen was visiting family in South Carolina last week and had just returned from running an errand when he suddenly stopped breathing. He could not be resuscitated.
Clausen is survived by his wife, Kori, four children — Haley, Laila, Sophia and Sloane — and three sisters and one brother. Funeral arrangements are pending.
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