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Draper Journal

JDCHS player having ‘big’ impact on basketball team this season

Feb 05, 2024 02:43PM ● By Catherine Garrett

Juan Diego Catholic High School junior Luke Meyer grabs one of his 10 rebounds in a 59-54 win over Westlake, a game in which he also scored 16 points in to lead the Soaring Eagle squad. (Photo courtesy JD Media Club)

When Juan Diego Catholic High School junior Luke Meyer moved with his family from Iowa prior to his sophomore basketball season last year, he was “scared.” So, he leaned his 6-foot-9-inch frame into the sport that his dad and uncles played in college, knowing that he would soon create meaningful relationships on the court, and began making his way in the Soaring Eagle program. 

Playing behind two solid post players last season, including current Division I baseball player Malick Harris, Meyer saw limited time and scored just four total points to go with eight rebounds for the 15-10 squad.

“It was a challenge for Luke to go battle every day against those guys in practice,” JDCHS head coach Drew Trost said. “He pushed through every challenge and became more motivated throughout the process.”

Meyer, the son of Ryan and Jana Meyer of Highland, put the work in during the offseason, gaining weight and getting stronger, in hopes of making a bigger impact for Juan Diego this year. Those efforts have helped the junior forward average 17 points and nine rebounds a game to lead the team in both categories. 

“Luke has just been terrific,” Trost said. “He’s improved a ton and is a force inside for us, shooting a remarkable 70% from the field.  He is a tough matchup for our opponents.”

Meyer said effort and focus have been critical.

“Just putting in hard work and being consistent has made the biggest difference for me,” he said. “But I have great teammates who also made the jump as we would hold workouts together and really focused on building our chemistry.”

Meyer was also voted by his team as captain for this season, an “impressive feat as a junior,” according to Trost. “Luke’s done a good job of not just being a leader by example but also as a vocal presence,” he said. “He has really rallied the team at times, and it’s been very effective in turning things around for us.”

Meyer has been playing basketball for as long as he can remember. Watching his uncles play at Brown University and at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, only solidified that love for the sport early and his further desire to also play collegiately. He also wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, as he played at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. He is grateful for the team aspect of basketball and the relationships it has given him as well as the “perseverance that has made me better.”

Trost also noted Meyer’s excellence in and out of the classroom. 

“Luke’s a really good student and just an all-around good kid,” Trost said. “His efforts continue to solidify our program and really make a difference. When you can have your best player be that good, it sure helps your team as a whole.” λ