• Indiana

Indiana’s ‘other’ No. 1 hoop team — prep-school power La Lumiere — poised for another national championship

By: Scott Burnstein, February 17, 2019, 4:00 pm

They don’t play in the IHSAA, but make no mistake about it the best high school hoop team in Hoosierland is the La Lumiere Lakers, a prep school squad out of La Porte. The La Porte Lake Show is 27-0, ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today and MaxPreps, and filled with next-level nastiness, players that you’ll be seeing in the future at big-time colleges and  then very possibly in the NBA.

“La Lu” won a national title in 2017. During the run to the ‘ship in ’17, Patrick Holmes was on the bench as an assistant — that club was led by NBA lottery selection Jaren Jackson, Jr. (Michigan State) of the Memphis Grizzlies. This year, Holmes is in his second season at the helm of the Lakers program and has his team primed for another “natty.” Banner time, baby!!

The frontcourt is 24K Magic Bruno Mars style. Blue chip thoroughbreds like Isaiah Stewart (6-foot-9), Keion Brooks (6-foot-8) and Gerald Drumgoole (6-foot-7) are game-changers, poetry in motion and blunt force trauma specialists at the rim. Center Jakov Kucic has tremendous upside and is signed with UC-Santa Barbara. Stewart and Brooks are five-star prospects, with Stewart inked with Washington and Brooks still on the market, said to be deciding between Indiana University and Michigan State. Drumgoole signed with Pittsburgh last week.

The backcourt is always in guns blazing mode, ready to let bullets fly the second they step foot in the gym. Spunky junior Wendell Green runs the point and has been a flawless facilitator for the squad’s high-powered offense. He’s as gutty and efficient as they come. Senior sniper Paxson Wojcik has limitless range and swagger at the shooting guard spot. Wojcik is signed with Loyola.

Could you imagine defending 4A IHSAA champ Warren Central — or the Carmel Greyhounds that beat Warren Central Friday in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 rematch of last year’s 4A title game — squaring off against the La Lu L-Train Express for a state title in March? Even though I know that could never happen, that would be soooooooo epic. We can all dream right?