Gillette, Wyo.--Lucas Reller is the last of the three outgoing sophomores from the 2012-13 Gillette College mens basketball team to transfer to a four-year program. Reller will take his skills on the court and in the classroom to the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC), a NCAA D-II school in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Reller was a redshirt at Dickinson State (N.D.) before transferring to Gillette College two seasons ago. He is from the Lead-Deadwood area of South Dakota, a quick drive to the east of Gillette.
“One of the main reasons transferring to Gillette was so my mom could watch me play. She didn't get to watch me play as much as she would have liked in high school,” Reller stated.
Lucas came out of Lead-Deadwood High School playing the point guard position. With Matt Strickland brought in at that spot, Head Coach Shawn Neary asked Reller to play at the Shooting guard position.
He did well at that spot, playing some backup duty at the point guard position.
“I didn't shoot a lot of three's ever in my career until I got to Gillette, Wyoming. So, it definitely uh, it added a new factor to my game and made me a much better player.”
One thing that intrigued Lucas to transfer to UMC was the fact they wanted him to play the point guard spot. He didn't like the first day of his visit to UMC though.
“I went out there the first night. I think it might have been the whole packing the night before and only having two hours of sleep, but uh, I didn't like it,” Reller said.
He actually texted then Assistant Coach Joe Kittell that he thought he should start planning visits to other schools. Lucas said the next day was a much better day and the flight back to Denver helped him make his decision.
On his flight back he sat with Ashton Harrell, a guard for UMC that was flying back home to Texas.
“I got to talk to him for a while and I just kinda made my mind up. He kinda talked me on board to be in the back court with him. So, when I was in the Denver airport was when I verbally committed to the University of Minnesota Crookston,”Lucas said.
Reller mentioned that he will miss the professors, coaches and teammates he had at Gillette College. He loved the fact that his mom got to see him play some while at GC and will miss the rec center.
“Of course, the $53 or $57 million rec center. That's what I'm gonna miss a lot as well. We basically lived there; the whole team would be there daily.”
Lucas leaves Gillette College with an associates degree in general studies and is undecided on what his major will be at UMC. He hopes to have his decision made up on that before he starts his first semester there in August.