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Mayes County Area

Verdigris’ Lucas Lechlider – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by Red Crown Credit Union

By Derrick Smith

High school students have a lot of things on their plates. From making sure you are keeping your grades up, to preparing for life after high school, and some even begin working while they are still students. Another layer of responsibility is added if the student plays a sport. Lucas Lechlider says that one thing that makes learning fun and more manageable is caring teachers. “Coach Horton was my sophomore and senior year math teacher,” he said. “He has helped me to be successful in the classroom and he genuinely cares about his students in and out of the classroom. That is what makes him my favorite teacher.”

Lucas is a senior at Verdigris High School, where he plays center for the basketball team. Basketball has been a part of his life for so long that he cannot remember when he picked up a basketball for the first time. 

There are other people who have made an impact on his life and helped him become the person he is today. “Pro basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is one of my on-the-court influences. But overall, my parents have a huge influence on me. They have taught me to give everything I do my full effort and they have supported me to the fullest. I wouldn’t be the basketball player I am today without their unconditional support.”

Standing six foot eight inches tall, Lucas has a big presence on the basketball court, but he has had to work on his game in order to be the best he can be. “I have put in a lot of hard work over my career,” he said. “My height has come naturally, but my skills have come through hard work and competing for everything I have. I have learned and experienced so much throughout my career, but I have a lot more to learn and experience and I am extremely excited for this upcoming season.”

Cardinals head basketball coach, Chris Houk, says that his big man is starting to get looks from the next level. “Lucas is a great kid and an equally solid player,” he stated. “Because of his work on and off the court, he is starting to become a college basketball prospect.”

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