Ryan Luke becomes first commitment of 2022 men's basketball recruiting class   Mike Raimbault's long-term commitment led to a big-time commitment for Wesmen Basketball.

Ryan Luke, a Grade 12, 6-foot-8 forward from John Taylor Collegiate, is the first pledge of the 2022 UWinnipeg men's basketball recruiting class, signing a national letter of intent to play for Raimbault's Wesmen.

He will enroll in the Faculty of Science and have five years of eligibility.

While Luke took his time to make sure he made a post-secondary decision he felt was right for him, he said Raimbault's interest in him early in the recruiting process went a long way.

"Mike was the first coach that reached out to me this past July," he said.

"… When other schools started reaching out to me a bit is when I knew that things that (Raimbault) has done for me the other schools haven't, and haven't put in that personal connection or tried to.

"I was trying to make my decision pretty quick originally but I kinda let the time go by to make sure I made the right decision, and I think I did."

Luke had his Grade 11 year wiped out by COVID cancellations, but he has his Pipers varsity boys team ranked No. 2 in the province this year averaging 21 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and four assists per game. 

Luke said he worked at his game during the off-year in the Evolve Basketball program, which is run by former Wesmen guard Nick Lother. He said that work with Evolve helped get his name out further in a recruiting process that was hampered by the year off.

"It was hard to get it out Canada-wide but I think in the community it was definitely possible with help from Evolve," Luke said.

Luke, who has played in the Manitoba provincial program going back to his 15U season, is unquestionably one of the top players in the province and his commitment will bolster Winnipeg's frontcourt right away.

"I'm looking to contribute right away," Luke said. "I'm a pretty big guy but I think I can do a lot of things, I'm well-rounded, pass the ball well, and a pretty good leader. I really want to be able to lead in these first few years and when I'm older especially."

John Taylor head coach Spiros Kavadas vouched for Luke's leadership.

"Ryan has been a tremendous leader on our team and at John Taylor for the past four years," he said. "We are excited to see him move on to the U Sports level. He has spent many hours in the gym honing his skills and getting stronger in the weight room preparing for an opportunity."

Not surprisingly, Raimbault is pleased to have this first commitment in the bag.

"We are excited to be adding Ryan to our program," he said. "He is a high character young guy and a strong student. He also has a special mix of size, skill, and athleticism that will allow him to make an immediate impact with our team."

Source: https://wesmen.ca/general/2021-22/releases/202202282a4piw

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