Nostalgia: Whatever Happened to … Luke Whitehead?

Luke Whitehead came to San Francisco sometime in the fall of 1996. He arrived at St. Ignatius College Prep as the next Kevin Garnett, a freshman prodigy. He dominated the WCAL, even as a freshman, and led SI in some very successful years. Prior to his senior year, he bolted the Bay to play at a fancy hoops academy (Oak Hill, VA), only to resurface soon thereafter at the University of Louisville. Under Rick Pitino, Whitehead averaged 9.10 points per game while enjoying solid playing time throughout his four years, including Third Team All-Conference honors in his final season.

After his college career, Whitehead did not get drafted by an NBA team. He tried out for some teams (including the Clippers) before the 2004 season to no avail.

In 2006, Whitehead was a seventh-round draft pick by the NBA Development League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce. He was waived on December 19, 2006.

And he fell on his head once. Ouch.

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23 Responses to Nostalgia: Whatever Happened to … Luke Whitehead?

  1. corneliuscharles says:

    Oh my god, that looks awful. I don’t wish a fall like that on anybody… There was an article in the Chronicle this past summer I believe talking about Whitehead. He was tearing up the Bay Area Pro-Am league at Kezar or something. Shocking he didn’t parlay that success into an NBA contract… Also, a side story. My first day of high school, at 5 ft 1 in, a neck brace in tow (soccer headball accident), I sat beside Luke “Front Page Chronicle- 2nd Best Freshman in the Country” Whitehead and Igor “Big Ass Russian” Olshansky. Let me replay the conversation that took place: Igor : Do you think you’ll play in the NBA? Luke: Yes. Me (in my head): Wow, I’m short.

  2. Paolo says:

    My favorite Luke memory: we had religion class together freshman year. At the end of the year, I asked him to sign my yearbook, thinking that if he did make the NBA, I would have his autograph. He outright refused to sign his name, opting for initials instead.

    I remember exactly what he wrote: “I can write something now because I’m not sleeping. –LW”

  3. Matt says:

    Luke played on my high school varsity team with me (st. andrew’s, boca raton, fl). Except that he was in 8th grade at the time. Many funny memories of that kid. We were all juniors and seniors and here was this 6’3″ 8th grader whose friends/peers were like 5 feet tall. His famous come-back line in an argument was “Why’s your mom boof your daddy?”. Our fans had a lot of fun when he made good plays, like when he blocked Badi Oliver (big guy went on to play at U of Georgia) our water boy shouted “You just got schooled by an eighth-grader!”. Good times…

  4. Bay Area Hoop Fan says:

    My favorite HS memory of Luke was when he played at SI and was on his
    home court for a HS play-off game against SF’s Galileo HS, Luke scored
    40 pts, Galileo’s 6-5″ Kenny Walls scoed 38 pts. With a litte less than
    2 minutes left in the game Luke had the ball twice right under his own
    basket and failed to convert the winning bucket, Luke and his team were
    looking at the bottom of Walls Nike’s all night , as Walls was playing over
    the rim all night and there ws nothing even Luke could do about it! Then
    after this he bolts to Oak Hill Va for his Junior and Senior seasons. He
    had his chance at Louisville but managed to average only 9 pts a game!
    As for the SF Pro-am sure Luke scored over 20 pts a game, but he took
    40-50 shots a game to do it! Too slow to defend anybody and a not so
    good FG % won’t get anybody to the NBA! Luke will be just another HS
    stand-out that couldn’t make it in the NBA, played locally for the Pro-Am
    and will be a forgotten man in the Basketball lores in a few years.

  5. Bay Area Hoop Fan says:

    HERE THE LATEST UPDATE: LUKE WHITEHEAD DRAFTED IN THE
    7TH ROUND BY IOWA IN THE NBA ‘D-LEAGUE’!!!! MY BET IS ON
    THAT LUKE WILL NEVER MAKE IT ON ANY REAL NBA ROSTER!!
    TOO SLOW, CAN’T GUARD ANYBODY, AND SHOOTS A LOUSY FG
    PERCENTAGE! CALL IT LIKE I SEE IT!……………..

  6. Craig says:

    Looks like he’s been signed by the Gold Coast Blaze, a team in the Australian NBL competition:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/01/10/2135847.htm

    and

    http://www.hoops.com.au/sa/i.cfm/forumlist/14141/

  7. Andre Gilkey says:

    My Dad did music for Luke and his CD

  8. Hoopster says:

    I’ve seen Whitehead play at SF Pro Am many times and he doesn’t have shooting range beyond 12 ft. He plays like a 4 but he’s the size of a 3 or 2. He has to slash to score but can’t do that at a higher level.

  9. Drew says:

    Luke also directed a static major video in louisville ky about a year ago, check it out on youtube- bus stop breezy!

  10. Fatty says:

    Luke Whitehead is back playing for the Gold Coast Blaze (NBL – Australia’s NBA equivalent) 2008/2009 after filling in for an injured Juaquin Hawkins last season. He’s great on the boards and has been a machine on the court for the Blaze.

  11. Geron says:

    Luke Whitehead is trying to get the Louisville rap scene to pop he has his own company to do so. he directs videos and raps hell be BIG in a minute!

  12. American_in_Australia says:

    I have seen this tall guy that looks out of place in the elevator of my building a lot recently — low and behold Luke Whitehead. He is indeed playing for the Gold Coast Blaze who are off to an impressive 0-9 start to the season. He is averaging 9.2ppg and 5.8rpg after averaging 13.8ppg and 9.2rpg last season. I’ll let him know you all send your regards…

  13. Rick says:

    Luke’s in Australia playing ball for the Gold Coast Blaze! He has had an amazing basketball career! He has played ball with Michael Jordan and travelled the world getting payed to play a game he Loves! Stop Hating on Luke and buy his new Hip Hop DVD from http://www.whiteheadsworld.net

  14. Rick says:

    And Luke Whitehead is one of the Best Hooper’s 2 come out of San Francisco Ever! So Stop Hating!

  15. Mavan says:

    um yea he doin fine luke my cuz by his daddy his daddy my uncle eddie but yea he ok he started rappin but i think he still doin dat he on tour now with his baby mama and his son which is sooooooooooo cute um but ill tell him u asked fo him at r family reuion just send me yo name

  16. I follow your posts for quite a long time and should tell you that your posts are always valuable to readers.

  17. SF guy says:

    Like I said in High when watching Luke play. “overrated”

  18. Nick says:

    RECENT UPDATE: Luke got arrested, they found several pounds of pot in his car and two handguns or something like that. I loved watching him play, I hope they let him go easy.

  19. Matt says:

    St. Ignatius beat Bellarmine all year in the Winter ’98 season, but lost in the CCS Division I Championship. Luke left the Bay Area after that.

    “Seen hoop dreams deflate like a true fiends weight” – Jay-Z

  20. 2011…

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks….

  21. I really miss Luke. He was one of Rick’s first teams when he came to coach for Louisville. I miss them all.

    VickyinKC

  22. Anonymous says:

    Luke was a huge duche bag…. I think he still is!!!!

  23. ThatFknGuyulovetohate says:

    I went to high school with Luke….. I always knew that he was all hype!!! Now he thinks he can rap!!! lmao. Born to a rich family…. groomed for success…. and look at him now
    Men and women for others huh…. lol
    Good thing he left S.I. to become a hotshot ball player!!!!

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