It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, we're not talking about Christmas. We're talking about tournament time. For Indiana high school junior Luke Harangody, those words couldn't be truer.
The 6-8 power forward/center combo from Merrillville (In.) Andrean is excited for his team to begin sectional tournament play this Friday evening.
Andrean (19-2) will travel to Gary, In. for a game against perennial power Lew Wallace High School to kick off their tournament journey. Harangody is hoping it culminates in a rematch against Roosevelt High, a team that got the best of Andrean in the middle of January.
"The loss to our sectional rival, Roosevelt, earlier in the year was probably the low point of the season," Harangody said. "We're hoping we can play them again."
The season hasn't been without plenty of upside, however.
The northwestern Indiana basketball power has accomplished plenty, most notably winning their conference behind the class of 2006 star who averages 23 points and 12 rebounds a game.
Harangody, whose father played for Indiana's football team in the 70's and brother is signed to play football for the Hoosiers next season, is enjoying the rest of his basketball season before he decides to journey on campus for a few more college visits in the spring.
"Right now I'm just letting my season play out and go from there," he explained. "I've been up to Northwestern once for a game, but my schedule really hasn't allowed for anything else."
When the time comes, however, Harangody will be looking primarily at the same group of schools -- most of which he's already visited, including a trip to Ohio State in October.
"It's the same schools for the most part," he added. "Ohio State, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Indiana. Those are the ones I'm looking at."
Although Harangody claims no particular favorites at this point in the process, he definitely doesn't live without plenty of influences around him.
In addition to his father being an IU grad, and his brother attending Indiana for football, his parents' friends are Ohio State graduates, and so Harangody hears plenty about the Buckeyes.
"Oh yeah, they talk about Ohio State a lot," Harangody admitted. "They make it back once in a while for games I think."
Basically, Harangody is living in a Big Ten melting pot.
"It's mostly Indiana and Purdue fans, and some Notre Dame fans," he added. "But there's a lot of Illinois fans, a pretty good amount of Ohio State fans up here, and all that. It's pretty crazy."
The atmosphere plays a big part in what Harangody wants most out of college. It's one of his biggest priorities.
"I really want to stay within the Midwest," Harangody concluded. "I do want to go to school some place close to home, and be in an environment I feel comfortable in. I want to play basketball for a coach I feel good around, and by staying close to home, my family and friends can watch me play."