Two former Akron head coaches, West Virginia’s Bob Huggins and Duquesne’s Keith Dambrot, talked at one end of the gym prior to the start of the games.
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Two members of Dayton’s 1984 Elite Eight team, Dayton coach Anthony Grant and Capital coach Damon Goodwin, sat next to each, watching the action on the main court in the morning session. At the same time, on another court, Dayton assistant coach Darren Hertz had a good view of UD’s first 2020 recruit — 6-foot-4 guard ` Frazier, of Lake Catholic High School in Mentor — from a folding chair under the basket.
Those were a few of the scenes Saturday at Capital University during the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Showcase, a recruiting event featuring close to 100 of the top boys basketball players in Ohio. Dozens of college coaches from around the country and Ohio attended.
Unlike most of the players, Frazier wasn’t trying to play well to earn a scholarship offer. He committed to Dayton earlier this month, and his dad Chad, a former high school coach, said this event was just a chance for Frazier to get better.
“Luke wants to play in these events,” Chad said. “He wants to keep playing against great competition.”
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Having experienced the recruiting whirlwind in the last couple of years, Lukas could offer advice to many of the recruits on how to deal with the attention.
“When I got my first offer, I was very excited,” Lukas said, “Then I started getting a lot more, and they started coming in very often. It kind of gets overwhelming when you get calls every day. But after I visited Dayton, I knew it was over.”
It was just over a year ago that Frazier received his first scholarship offer during Wright State’s Elite Camp.
“My wife (Kriss) took him. I had to work,” Chad said. “An hour into the camp, coach (Scott) Nagy, who I think is one of the best, called my wife and him into the office. That’s how he got his first offer.”
Until that point, the Fraziers had been saving money to send Lukas and his sister Ellie to college, planning to cover half the cost of each education. With Lukas earning a full scholarship, they will pay for Ellie’s whole education. She’s studying at Ohio State to be a dentist.
Still, Chad knows how difficult it is to earn a Division I scholarship offer.
“I coached 15 years, and I think I had one Division II scholarship,” Chad said. “You try to talk to kids and let them understand how rare it is. Kids don’t have a clue about the recruiting process.”
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As hectic as the recruiting process can be, Lukas and his parents enjoyed it. Chad said they loved visiting college campuses and meeting coaches and players. Once Wright State offered Lukas a scholarship, Northern Kentucky followed, and several Mid-American Conference schools got involved. Dayton offered him a scholarship in April.
Chad wasn’t surprised to see Lukas receive more attention.
“We knew obviously he has some special talent, and he just kept growing and growing,” Chad said. “When he entered high school, I think he was 5-9. We saw him get up to 6-3. Now he’s 6-4½. It started getting real.”
Lukas and his parents sat behind the Dayton bench last November for a game against Purdue Fort Wayne. The experience confirmed what Chad had been hearing from his friends.
“All of my best friends went to Dayton,” he said. “I know a little about the (student) ghetto from visiting, but it blew me away. We didn’t talk much in front of Luke, but my wife and I were like, ‘Wow, this is big time.’ I think it motivated Luke to play harder and harder.”