“When you look at everything basketball-related, that probably was my favorite memory,” Luke Sutherland says, in regards to winning West Genesse’s first state basketball championship in 2019. “It’s an experience that I will hold close to me for a long time.”
But, how did Sutherland get to that championship game, and then to Le Moyne? He attributes his love of basketball at an early age to his older sister, who played basketball through college. “Growing up I would see her playing a lot,” he says, “I wanted to be like her.”
Sutherland also spent much time playing travel basketball, which led to him having multiple offers from colleges after he graduated from West Genesee. He mentions how grateful he is for the opportunities all these colleges presented to him, however, he ended up selecting NCAA Division I, Siena College.
Following his time at Siena, he decided to transfer to Bryant University’s Division I program. After Bryant, he made his third stop at Le Moyne College. “Ultimately it came down to being happy and being home and being around friends and family.”
Luke enjoys that his family can come to watch him play this year since Le Moyne is local to him. He mentions how the games at Bryant were quite a trip for his parents since the University is in Rhode Island. Being in his “backyard” playing basketball is important to him.
Sutherland talks a lot about his team here and the talent they have. “If we’re healthy and we’re playing how we know we can play, we’re going to be one of the best teams in the country,” he says. Which speaks a lot about the basketball program here and how well-rounded the athletes are.
The team practices for four hours a day, sometimes even more, but he makes it work alongside his class schedule. He emphasizes how important it is to him to get a good education and a degree alongside playing basketball. “You can’t just be focused on basketball because you are a student-athlete,” he laughs, “as corny as that sounds, it’s true. You have to make sure you’re doing well in the classroom too.”
Luke says his favorite game this season so far was against Mercyhurst since it was his first game back from the injury he sustained during their exhibition game against Syracuse University. In the game, he hyperextended his right leg and ended up having small fractures in his shin and a little ligament damage. He describes the injury as “lucky” because it could’ve been much worse than it was, and he was ready to get back to playing as soon as he could.