Lance Rucker | Freshman | Millard South High School
Millard South freshman Lance Rucker is a natural athlete. He began to focus on his training seriously when he was 11 years old. “When I was little, I was chubbier, so I wasn’t in the best shape. I overcame that by lifting weights and running on my own time.” His commitment has paid off. This past summer, he worked out with the football team, played summer basketball with the Millard South varsity team, and also played with the Millard Bulls, a youth basketball program that his father Lamain runs. He plans to attend a four-year college and play college football, but for now, “I just want to make it through and get good grades.”
Lance is looking forward to the football season and hopes to duplicate the success he had in middle school, where he led the team in tackles on defense, as well as in rushing and touchdowns. One game in particular was a highlight. He got a pick six in the middle of the field for 60 yards and later had a 99-yard touchdown. Freshman football coach Tyler Renken believes, “Lance is an explosive athlete with huge upside in football. For a freshman, his size and explosiveness make him a mismatch on offense and really versatile on defense.”
Lance comes from a sports family. “This is a family business, so everybody’s involved,” Lamain Sr. said. Lance’s older brother, Lamain Jr. (21), won a state championship in wrestling and played football and basketball. His younger brother, Lamar (12), also plays football and basketball. “My wife played basketball and was a cheerleader, and I played football, basketball, and baseball, so this is a sports family,” Lamain said. “We all support each other.” In fact, it’s a house rule that every family member attends every game.
Lance is always striving to improve his skills, including learning how to dunk. He can now dunk with one hand, two hands, or even catch a pass and dunk. “When I was 13 years old, I tried to dunk all the time in practice and I’d always get stuck at the rim and fall. I kept trying, and then one day before a game, I said, ‘I’m going to try it.’ I didn’t realize I’d dunked until I came down.” Tim Leuschen, head basketball coach at Millard South, said, “Look for big things from him over the next four years and beyond.”