Posts Tagged Luke Recker

Recker jerseys for sale, cheap!

It’s always interesting to learn the side effects of major news stories. Sometimes they don’t crop up for months. Take, for instance, when Luke Recker left IU last spring. Without a doubt this was one of the major news stories of the past year.

To recap for the new students among us, Recker was a member of the men’s basketball team and a Hoosier native. This potent combination made Luke’s departure all the more dramatic and frustrating for Hoosier basketball fans.

Certainly men’s basketball coach Bobby Knight felt the effects of Recker’s untimely departure from IU; although nothing ever came of it, Knight was vilified by the local media and by fans for driving a rising star out of the state.

Another group of people who felt a tremendous sense of loss with Recker’s departure was the media itself. The media had lost its hometown hero who had assured them of improved ratings whenever Recker showed up on their newscasts.

Of course, there was another actor in this game: the IU Athletics Outfitters stores.

It seems that the very day Luke announced his departure in April, a shipment of basketball jerseys with the number 4 appeared on the loading dock of the Outfitters.

The decision to restock jerseys with Luke’s number was based upon comments Recker made at the end of the season that he was planning to stick around and play another year at IU.

Consequently, for those of you interested, the Outfitters shop at Kirkwood and Indiana has a huge sale on Indiana Basketball Jerseys. For $16 you can get a bright red jersey with the number 4 on it. That’s half off the regular price of $32.

Naturally a lot of people wouldn’t be seen in a jersey that bares Recker’s number, but I think for any true Hoosier basketball fan, this is an opportunity that ought not be passed up.

The list of men under Bobby Knight who have worn the number four jersey consists of only three players: Lyndon Jones (1988-91), Chris Rowles (1996) and Luke.

But there is the future to consider as well. IU basketball and its amazing tradition is not going to vanish overnight. Other players will wear this jersey and will shine in it as well.

Not to mention the women.

Described as an “unselfish player who has the ability to find an open teammate with a no look pass,” Dani Thrush wore number 4 for the women last year. Certainly she was a credit to the team, playing more than 30 minutes per game for most of the games and averaging 9.8 points per game. In the basketball media guide, she even listed “Playing with my dog Fulton” as her favorite way to spend free time, so she can’t be all that bad.

And for those who care, she was a better free throw shooter and rebounder than her fellow number 4 of last year.

With her eligibility up, she won’t be on the team this year, but if I were her, I would run down to the store and stock up on these jerseys that will hold much significance to her memories as time goes by.

, , ,

No Comments

Lessons learned at IU

This is my last column of this school year and the last column of my first year in Bloomington. The opportunities for this final column are endless, yet I’ve chosen to write about what I’ve learned in my first year at IU in Bloomington.

After coming to this conclusion, one of my wise-cracking friends suggested that I convince the editors of the IDS to run 15 inches of empty space. What’s really pathetic is that I actually considered this idea for awhile.

What I really have learned is that Indiana University, although three-and a-half times larger than the University of Wyoming, is not really all that different.

Freshmen attending IU are just like freshmen attending UW: scared, unsure and learning to explore the world. Virtually every freshman goes through culture shock of one kind or another as they make their transition from their hometown high school to the University.

Universities cannot coddle freshmen too much, but both IU and UW excel at providing resources for freshmen living on their own for the first time. There is a fine line, though, between providing enough assistance and too much assistance. Too much assistance and it will be as if the freshmen never left the loving arms of their parents.

I’ve also been forced to learn that senseless death can happen anywhere in America: Whether IU’s Joseph Bisanz from an alcohol-related incident, or UW’s Matthew Shepard, beaten because he was gay. Neither one deserved to die nor should have died, but between the two, IU was forced to examine its drinking policies and UW was forced to examine the environment in which it exists.

It is also clear that when it comes to the quality of undergraduate education, there is less difference between IU and UW than one might suspect at first glance. I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science from UW in 1996. There I knew my professors personally, and they took as much time and effort to work with me as a freshman as they did when I was a senior, ensuring that I was learning.

The emphasis on the quality of teaching that I witnessed at UW is here at IU as well. Recently I listened to a professor talk about how one of his undergraduate courses was going, how a new approach to an old subject wasn’t quite working as well as he had hoped and that he would have to make some changes the next time he taught the course.

Another place where there is less difference between IU and UW than one might suspect is in the quality of the students. I believe that in the end, the quality of a student’s education is not necessarily determined by the quality of the academic institution, but is instead determined by the quality and character of the student.

You can be an incredibly smart person, but if you don’t have the character and drive to succeed, you’ll fail, whether you attend IU, UW or Harvard. If, on the other hand, you’re smart and you have the character and drive to succeed, you will become a success, even if you start by attending a community college.

In closing, I want to talk about the one lesson that I’ve learned from Luke Recker. Recker was a sophomore in high school when he made his decision to play for coach Bobby Knight and to attend IU. The lesson Recker taught me was that no 15-year-old kid should ever commit to attend any given university. You’re just too young to know what you really want. Recker did the right thing by deciding to move on before it was too late to switch.

I, on the other hand, am pretty sure that I’ve made the right choice. My experiences here at IU have been positive and worthwhile. I can assure you that I will be back in the fall for round two on my way to earning my doctorate. I also plan on writing for the IDS again.

, , , ,

No Comments