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Should Local Talent Luke Petrasek Suit Up For Westchester Knicks?

Luke Petrasek’s journey has stayed local thus far. He grew up in the small suburban town of East Northport, NY— a small town on Long Island— and played his collegiate ball at Columbia. The big man detailed his collegiate career by saying it was a great experience because his family could attend every game.

“Throughout my four years there, my family was able to come out to every game,” Petrasek told KnicksJournal.com. “They showed a lot of support. It was nice knowing that I had my home about an hour away. But being from the city and living in a suburb my whole life, it didn’t really feel like I was right in my backyard. It was definitely a good experience.”

During his collegiate career at Columbia, he had the opportunity to display his versatility. Petrasek showed that that he has a solid three-point shot, can have an impact on the interior, and is an underrated passer. While he’s proven he can be valuable on the offensive end with his ability to stretch the floor, Petrasek doesn’t shy away from making an impact with his length by blocking shots. During the 2015-16 season, the Columbia product was eighth in the Ivy League in blocks per game (1.2).

“I think my coaches, since I had two throughout my career, definitely gave me leeway to showcase my skills,” Petrasek said. “They wanted me to play confidently. My teammates were really supportive of everything. I just worked hard at what I was doing and it payed off.”

For a player who stands in at 6’10”, he brings an unique skill-set to the table. Petrasek has shown his passing to be the underrated part of his game. In his team’s game against Seton Hall, Petrasek threw a bullet pass inside to his teammate off back door cut for an easy two points. In a game against Dartmouth, he was backing down his defender and dished a bounce pass from foul line who finished with a lay-up.

“I think people don’t realize that I’m a great passer,” Petrasek said. “I love to pass to my teammates, get them open shots, and I’ve really been able to play very versatile throughout my career. I’ve played the 5 [and] 4. Last year, I played some at the 3, so I just want people to know that I can switch it up and play different positions.”

As a junior, Petrasek was sixth in three-point percentage (44.2 percent) and 12th in field goal percentage (49.8 percent) in the Ivy League. The following season, he was fourth in scoring (15.1 points per game) and ninth (tied) in rebounds (5.7).

With his collegiate career now in the rear view, the young prospect is looking to take advantage of opportunities. Petrasek had pre-draft workouts with the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, and New Orleans Pelicans. Most recently, he performed at the RBA Sports Showcase in New York City, where many NBA scouts observed.

“I think B.J. [Bass] has done a great job throughout my whole process,” Petrasek said. “I trust him and he’s really been helping me with everything. So knowing his past record of having some of his guys in the NBA and having such great opportunities, it was really nice to showcase what I can do in the same events.”

“I was really looking forward to this event,” Petrasek continued. “[I was] working out hard two weeks before it. Glad I got to showcase what I was able to do and my expectation for the future is just keep controlling what I can control because other than that, there’s not certainly a lot in my hands, except what I can do on the court.”

As he evaluates his options, Petrasek knows that the Knicks’ minor league affiliate plays close to home in Westchester. He said it would be special to play locally once again.

“Everything would be amazing,” he explained. “I would love to play in New York close to my hometown [East Northport, NY]. Any opportunity would be a blessing. But the Knicks, it would be fun playing in Westchester.”

Throughout his collegiate career, Petrasek showcased his versatility. After having pre-draft workouts with five NBA teams and being invited to the 2017 NBA G League Player Invitational, things are looking promising as he keeps an eye on what comes next.

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