Rising Star: Luke Zeller

Jayhawk fans, meet Washington (Ind.) High's Luke Zeller.    The 6-11, 230 lb. junior center could wind up in Allen Fieldhouse someday and this rising star is no stranger to playing in big arenas.

"We have the 14th largest gym in the nation. It's pretty sweet.    It holds 7090 people."

So far this season, Luke Zeller has been putting on quite a show for the masses that turnout for his Washington High games.  His team has one opponent left on its regular season schedule (White River Valley H.S.) and should Zeller's team come away with a win, they'd head to the postseason with an 18-3 record.

Right now the playoffs are all Zeller wants to think about.

"Right now I'm just going to focus on season, and finishing strong.    As soon as the season is over, I'm going to sit down with my family and some of my closest friends and narrow things down.

"Coach (Dave) Omer and I decided before season that we'd look at things after the season was complete. So we'll be getting my list down to five real soon. Hopefully we'll get it completely done before my senior year."

That list includes at least ten schools, although Zeller is hesitant to mention any of them.

"I don't want to mention them because I'll probably forget one and then feel bad.  I'll know my top five real soon though."

The Insiders Network currently lists Zeller's top targets as Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Purdue and Stanford.  Zeller also has eyes for Kansas though.

"I've looked at Kansas for a while. I went down and visited one time when Coach Williams was still there.

"The campus was real nice, but it was different because Coach (Roy) Williams wasn't even there so Coach (Steve) Robinson showed us around.    I didn't get to see a game though.    I hear the games there are awesome."

Zeller will make sure he sees a game next time he's in Lawrence, which could be on an official visit if KU makes his top five list.    According to Zeller, coaches from the current Jayhawk staff have been on hand for a couple of his games this season and he might like to return the favor next fall.

In the meantime, he'll keep on striving for a state title and weighing what's important to him in his future college home.

"Right now what's important is the blend of players and coaches, and all the relationships.  You don't want any jealousy or anything, but you want good players.

"It's easy to see the teams that have good chemistry. You notice that one extra pass. The teams with one player that shoots all the time probably don't have the best chemistry. So, chemistry is important too."

What else is important to Zeller

"I'm also just looking for the place I fit in the best at. Plus, I'd like to play my first year, so I'll look at that a bit."

With thousands of fans at his games, all kinds of great expectations and plenty of quality schools beating down his door, life is hectic for this high school junior.  When it comes time to relax, Zeller says he likes to pop in a good movie.

"In my spare time I like watching movies.  They really help me to relax."

Unfortunately, this reporter asked a stupid question when wondering what his favorite basketball movie happened to be.  For kids growing up in Indiana, there's only one choice:

"Hoosiers," Zeller said with a laugh. "Do you even have to ask that question?"

Turns out Zeller knows a little more about the film than most Indiana kids.

"I had to do a junior research paper on it. I was kind of disappointing though, because I found out half the story isn't even true.    It's still a good movie though."

And Zeller is still a good prospect.    One program will be very lucky to land him and his decision might not take too long once his junior season is complete.

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