Luke Babbitt Stays Grounded

Maybe it's because he's in Reno, Nevada - hardly a basketball hotbed. Or maybe it's just who he is. Whatever the case, Galena High (Nev.) 6-foot-8 rising junior forward Luke Babbitt is a rarity these days and that's one of the reasons he's a wanted man among high-major programs.

Luke Babbitt knows there are pros and cons to living in Reno. On one hand, it's not easy to find competition that will push him in the area. On the other hand, it's not difficult for him to remain grounded.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound Galena High (Nev.) junior forward has rocketed up the rankings, but that hasn't changed his attitude or his approach.

``Right now it's great to be ranked, but it really doesn't matter," Babbitt said. "I know I've still got a long way to go."

The versatile Babbitt has put on about 15 pounds since last July. He said he'll continue to work on his defense and ballhandling skills , but admits that all aspects of his game need improvement.

Babbitt finished his sophomore campaign strong and lost in the regional semifinals to the eventual state champions.

Babbitt is looking forward to his junior campaign, when he and his high school teammates get to go up against some of the nation's top teams at the Beach Ball Classic and other national events.

While Babbitt is concentrating on getting better and seeing where he stacks up against some of the top players in the Class of 2008, his recruitment is starting to pick up.

Offers are on the table from Nevada, Washington, Michigan and Syracuse. Babbitt said that the Huskies and Orangemen have been the most aggressive of late. While he didn't want to divulge any leaders just yet, Babbitt did mention that UCLA, Duke and Arizona are three schools that stand out at this point in time.

``I just want to go somewhere that it feels right," Babbitt said. "Someone where I feel comfortable. I'll probably narrow it down after the summer."

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