Tommy Luce left his boyhood friends behind in Richmond when his father Joe was hired as the new boys basketball coach at Jeffersonville. Luce, a senior point guard, has adapted to his new environment and his team, helping the Red Devils to a 9-7 record while working to restore the school’s successful tradition.
Courier-Journal: How hard was it for you to uproot from Richmond and move to a new school for your senior year?
Tommy Luce: It was difficult, not because of the winning, but because I was leaving my best friends. I had been playing basketball with them since I was in elementary and middle school. But I’ve made a lot of great friends here.
C-J: Was it difficult to make new friends and be accepted?
Luce: We came down for some open gyms toward the end of the school year, and I started making some good friends after two or three weeks. I feel like I’m pretty well accepted.
C-J: How it is to play basketball for your father?
Luce: There are definitely ups and downs, but it’s a positive. He’s a really cool guy, and he’s been my coach since I was in kindergarten. I really like having him as a coach.
C-J: What do love about basketball?
Luce: It’s the excitement. I always loved watching college basketball and March Madness growing up, and I liked going to watch my dad’s teams at Marion and Richmond. Ever since I was little, it was exciting to go watch them. It was a lot of fun.
C-J: Who are your role models?
Luce: Both of my grandpas. They are some great guys, and I’ve always looked up to them, ever since I was little. They’re great people.
C-J: What have you learned from playing high school sports?
Luce: You have to communicate with people. That’s the key in sports. If you can’t communicate, you’re just running around out there. Communication will also help you in the future, when you have to get a job. It’s an asset you have to have in sports and real life.
C-J: As someone who did not grow up here, what has struck you about Jeffersonville basketball?
Luce: Everyone here is basketball crazy. It’s actually really cool. People have been lucky to have such great teams here, with a rich tradition. Hopefully we can get this going again, and my dad can, and bring another new era of basketball back to Jeff.
C-J: As a senior, with time starting to run out in your high school career, what are your future plans?
Luce: I want to play basketball in college. If that doesn’t happen, I will probably end up going to school with a couple of friends and we’ll see where it goes. I either want to go into business or be a basketball coach and teacher like my dad.
C-J: So if being around coaching hasn’t soured you on that profession, what kind of coach would you be?
Luce: I feel like I know a little bit about it. I would probably be a little bit like my dad. He’s kind of a pushy coach, but he’s pushing us so we can be the best we can be.
TOMMY LUCE UP CLOSE
Family: parents Joe and Amy; sisters Kelsey (17), Kylee (15) and Alyvia (11)
Student/athlete: Tommy is a member of National Honor Society and plans to play college basketball.
Coach Joe Luce: The one thing he and I agreed upon a long time ago, we would not define our relationship based on basketball. I love him no matter if he were playing a sport, an instrument, or just being a student. With moving, he left a lot of great friends at home in Richmond, and that’s something he had to go through that I can’t even explain. Any time you get to a new environment, you have to open yourself up. I think he’s gotten to the point where he is very comfortable.