Friday, February 08, 2008
Does it mean I'm really old if Luke Recker's going bald?
What ever happened to Luke Recker?
Big Ten basketball fans may recall the name Luke Recker. Recker was the Indiana high school phenom who dazzled observers as a big (6'6") guard with a sweet stroke and rocket booster-style leaping ability. He committed early to Indiana and Bob Knight, playing two years under the fiery coach before transferring to Arizona.
His plans all changed the evening he and his girlfriend, Kelly Craig, drove to a carnival while on vacation in Durango, Colorado. A drunk-driver smashed into their vehicle and a pickup truck packed with passengers. When police and paramedics arrived, bodies were flung over the highway while passers-by attempted to triage the injured. A state trooper noted in his log book that 14 people had been inured and one had died at the scene.
An empty 12-pack of Budweiser and a bottle of rum were rolling around the drunk driver's pickup; he had suffered minor injuries while Kelly Craig was paralyzed; Recker's head was slashed open and his left hand crushed. Only a nurse who happened to drive by the scene saved Recker from bleeding out: his temporal artery had been sliced open. 200 stitches were required to patch him up.
Recker never played for Arizona. He transferred back to Iowa and the Big Ten to be closer to his family and the Craigs. Kelly Craig was partially paralyzed, but has thankfully regained some movement in her arms and legs. She still requires a wheelchair, however. She and Recker later called off their relationship as he pursued his dream of playing professional basketball with a reconstructed hand.
After finishing his collegiate career with the Hawkeyes (he averaged 17 PPG while shooting 41% from three-land), he tried out with the Miami Heat and played a year in the NBDL. For the last four years, he's split time between Italian- and Spanish-league hoops. Over the last two seasons, he's been a major contributor for Bilbao Basket of the Spanish ACB league. Overall, during his Euro play, he's averaged nearly 14 PPG while shooting 38% on threes.
Luke Recker is 29 years old? And going bald? How can that be? Why that must mean Scottie May is nearing retirement. And Steve Downing, is he still playing? What about Tommy Baker? Young whippersnappers. *Grumbling noises*
More: Kelly Craig update: 2003, Luke Recker is going bald, we're getting old.