Luke Thoreson ’16
What was your athletic career or other athletic interests when you were a child?
I’ve been playing basketball since I was a little kid. My dad was a basketball player when he was growing up and actually – this is kind of funny – the day I was supposed to be born, my mom was out in the backyard shooting hoops. I had a little kids hoop down in our basement and I would spend hours down there pretending I was Kobe Bryant.
I understand you’ve been playing basketball for a while. What was your experience with basketball like in high school?
In high school, basketball was a year-round sport like it is now. My sophomore year, we won the Idaho state title – I’m from Idaho. We went to the state championships all four years and I played on my high school varsity team from sophomore to senior year. Actually, it’s pretty crazy because we had around five or six seniors on the team my senior year, five of whom are playing in college now. We grew up together. My senior year I was captain and sadly we lost in the state title game. Outside of high school, I also played [Athletic Amateur Union] AUU basketball where we would travel to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle and the West Coast, among other places. I guess you could say that all the traveling back then helped prepare me for the traveling at Williams.
I hear that you were receuited to Williams for basketball. What was your recruiting process like, and what attracted you to Williams?
I initially got recruited to Williams through Ivy League [basketball] camps; often, Div. III coaches or coaches from other schools would come to these camps to look at prospective players. I was thinking about some of those bigger schools and had got some attention, but I got in touch with [former] Coach [Mike] Maker at the Columbia camp.
I got good vibes from him and he did a really good job selling Williams to me for all that it is. So, I was intrigued and committed not long after visiting the College. It pretty much took one visit.
In the recruiting process, one of the main things that I was looking for in a school was a place where I felt wanted and valued, both as a player and as a person. Coach Maker made me feel that way.
Obviously I was looking for an exceptional academic institution as well, and it’s pretty hard to beat Williams especially if you do not know what you want to do or study yet – which I didn’t. The one drawback to Williams for me is that it was and still is a long way from my home in Idaho. For me, though, it has definitely become a home away from home.
So you’ve been a captain before in high school. What is it like being a captain for Williams for your fourth year on the team?
It’s an honor – my teammates elect captain. It’s a big responsibility to represent the program well wherever I am and in whatever I’m doing. For me, it’s a good opportunity to practice a certain style of leadership especially since our team is tight-knit and tends to lead by example.
Basketball seems like a significant commitment like any varsity sport. Are you involved with other extracurricular activities on campus?
I’m a leader for a group called Ephs for Christ, where we often have meetings twice a week and weekly Bible studies. I am also involved in the Williams Christian Fellowship, but I am not a leader of that group.
Does your team have any traditions and/or specific pre-game rituals?
To be honest, I love to get power naps in before games. We pretty much have a set schedule so I don’t have any quirky routines or rituals but usually, if we have a game around 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., we’ll have an early dinner at 3:30 pm.
The dining hall will often have to open early for us to eat dinner with enough time to digest. After that, we have some down time and can kick back, sleep or play some video games.
What is usually your go-to order at snackbar?
Hamburger, hot dog and buffalo chips. I always try and maximize the food.
What are your post-collegiate plans looking like? Do they relate to basketball or are you pursuing other interests of yours?
I’m thinking right now of heading into law. I have a paralegal position for next year. Basketball will be something I participate in for fun in the future. It will be weird not playing at Williams, but I know I’ll find places to play and compete and just enjoy the game.