“I had then went back, and a couple of months ago Randy told me that Haskell was looking at me and wanted to talk to me. I’ve always wanted to go to Haskell since he went there, so that was really big for me.” -Muscogee (Creek) citizen Luke Bruner
Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– A local Native owned basketball program by the name of Elevate Your Game has given a Muscogee (Creek) citizen the opportunity to be recognized and recruited by Haskell Indian Nations University basketball program.
Muscogee (Creek) citizen Luke Bruner signed his letter of intent July 23 to play basketball at HINU. He was surrounded by his support system on this special day.
Bruner is the son of Broken Arrow resident Stephanee Bruner. He has four siblings, three sisters and one brother. He graduated from Summit Christian Academy, which is a private school located in Broken Arrow. Throughout high school Bruner played football, basketball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse.
According to his mom, Bruner missed out on playing sports his first two years of high school. He was involved in a wreck as a passenger of a church van and broke his shoulder during his freshman year and had to sit out for two years. When his junior year began, they started him out on the JV team and he worked hard to get on the varsity team.
Bruner worked hard whether it was on the field or court. His senior year he made All-State for soccer, offensive player of the year in football, All-Conference in football and All-District in basketball.
“It felt good, it’s been a long time coming,” Bruner’s mother said about watching him sign his letter of intent. “He’s worked hard, and had a lot going against him growing up. These last few years he was indecisive on what he was going to do but I’m glad he chose basketball.”
As a basketball player Bruner looked up to his coach Randy July Jr. who is a former HINU basketball player and founder of the EYG program.
“He is the closest person I have to a father figure,” Bruner said about July.
Bruner’s mom has enjoyed watching the close bond of July and her son. After losing his father, Bruner’s mom said when July started helping him out his freshman year and it felt like he had a father figure along the way.
EYG is the program that helped Bruner get recruited by HINU. He started attending this program about four years ago as he was going into high school. Before working with July, Bruner said some of his basketball skills were terrible. After a year of working with July his skills were way better.
There were a couple of years he did not participate in the program because there was no age group for Bruner.
“I had then went back, and a couple of months ago Randy told me that Haskell was looking at me and wanted to talk to me,” Bruner said. “I’ve always wanted to go to Haskell since he went there, so that was really big for me.”
For Bruner, getting this opportunity to go to college will give him a life lesson of what life will be about. He is looking forward to seeing what college is about, being on his own and playing basketball for another four years.
“I can’t wait for him to get back out on the court and play,” Bruner’s mom said.