Luke Hendrix, from Junior Jazz to Taking Back Sunday

Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 2:57am

It took a long road for this year's basketball captain, Luke Hendrix, to finally get to play in his first game for CEU.

Upon completing a two-year mission in Detroit for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Hendrix came to Price.

He had only been home from his mission three weeks when it was time to get back into the world of school and ball.

Before his mission, he went to Rick's College and played basketball for a year.

While he was away on his mission, Rick's changed its name to BYU Idaho and dropped the athletic program.

He loved the SWAC conference that he played in, and Hendrix wanted to find another school to play for in the same conference.

When CEU contacted his dad and expressed interest, "it was nice."

It was near the end of his mission and he had no idea what he was going to do. It was nice to have an option, plus it was close to home.

Because Hendrix had only been home for three weeks, and he only had one more year of eligibility at a junior college, he opted to red shirt last year.

It gave him some time to get back into shape and into the basketball mode. By the time the season rolled around this year, Hendrix was ready to play.

Unfortunately, the night before his first home game, he rolled his ankle in practice.

That incident forced him to miss the first five games of the year. Even though it was preseason, he was still upset.

"He's come a long way," stated assistant coach Brock Erickson. "With a hurt ankle earlier this year he had to work hard and he's really worked on his form."

Hendrix has been playing basketball for as long as he can remember.

He played in Jr. Jazz and Amateur Athletic Union ball besides his school career. AAU is a more competitive league; some might refer to it as elite.

Hendrix started AAU in the third grade. Out of the ten years that he played, his team took state nine out the ten times.

He also was able to go on to nationals in AAU and become the only team from Utah to win.

Not only did his team win nationals, but they were able to do so two years back to back. His team was a good team, over ten years later most of the guys are still playing.

Hendrix attended Brighton High School and played basketball for his school.

The best and most fun year of basketball throughout his life came his senior year in high school.

His team won the region title that year and went on to play for state.

After defeating Bingham High School in the state semi-finals by a three at the buzzer, they went on to play Copper Hills for the championship the next day.

It was supposed to be an easy win. Copper Hills was not ranked high that year, and won most of their state wins in upsets.

Brighton went in anticipating the win, but the championship was the same story. Brighton didn't play 100 percent and Copper Hills ended up taking state.

"I had the biggest high of my life and the lowest low of my life all within 24 hours," stated Hendrix.

Throughout his lifetime of highs and lows, his family has always been there to support him. "That's one reason I still like playing, it's kind of a family event."

"Out of 100 games that I played with AAU, I would say my parents (Danny and Twyla) attended at least 95 percent of them. My dad just doesn't miss games too often. My parents never missed a high school game."

Now that he plays at CEU, his family enjoys coming to cheer him on at all the home games they can. They even make it to some of the away games as well.

Hendrix hopes to go into law and would like to become an attorney one day after attending law school.

"I'd like to continue playing next year if the opportunity was there. I don't know if I'll push it like I did just out of high school, but as long as it was paying for my education I couldn't turn it down."

According to Erickson, "Hendrix is a quiet kid, but he's a leader. He leads by example, and when he speaks everyone seems to listen."

Hendrix is honored to have been named one of the team captains. The guys on the team elect the captain, so they are men that are looked up to and trusted by the whole team.

"It's our job to represent the players. If there are any ideas or concerns, we take them to the coach."

Besides basketball, Hendrix enjoys baseball, soccer and playing golf in the summer. He also like to play the guitar and has been since the ninth grade.

"I like to play by ear the music that I listen to. I'm not too worried about the theory part." Punk is the only music he likes to listen to, and therefore play. One of his favorite groups is Taking Back Sunday.

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