In early October, Luke Osborn sent his dad one of the first photos of himself wearing his Oregon basketball jersey.
What he didn’t tell his dad, was that he had switched his jersey number from No. 20 to No. 25 — the same number his dad wore 21 years ago when he was on the Oregon team.
“It’s a special experience,” Rick, Luke’s dad, said. “To see Luke wearing green and gold and doing these things, I kind of got chills.”
Playing for his dad’s alma mater is a dream come true for the redshirt sophomore. Luke’s basketball journey has led him through both a year of junior college and a year as an Oregon practice squad player before landing his current walk-on role.
“I feel like I definitely have shoes to fill,” Luke said. “I just want to be regarded as someone who just worked really hard and just gave everything to the team.”
Rick Osborn played four seasons at Oregon from 1984 to 1988 and still recalls fond memories of playing at McArthur Court. After college, he developed a passion for coaching and spent three years at Tigard High School before spending the next 26 years at Tualatin High School.
Luke, along with his twin brother Cam, chose to go to high school outside of his neighborhood district in order to be coached by their dad at Tualatin.
“I think he helped me come into my own as a player,” Luke said. “Just being around someone that has that level of dedication to his craft, and to coaching, I think it helped me focus in on what’s really important.”
In his sophomore year of high school, Luke decided he wanted to play in college. He played one year at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, but he wanted more.
After Oregon’s run to the Final Four, he knew wanted to play for the Ducks.
He moved down to Eugene the following summer and attended one of Oregon’s open tryouts. Luke made the team as a practice player and spent the year helping to run drills during practices.
“It was kind of like, ‘Well I got to roll with this now,’” Luke said. "‘It’s the next thing I got to check off my list to get to where I want to be.’”
Last spring, Luke was offered a walk-on spot on the team for the 2018-2019 season. So far the 6-foot-6 guard has played in two games for the Ducks, coming off the bench during blowouts.
“He’s been great for our team,” head coach Dana Altman said. “He’s worked really hard. It’s kind of a tough role; he never knows when he’s going to be called upon, but man, is he steady.”
Rick couldn’t be prouder watching his son become a fellow Duck.
“He has grown to have a real love for the game because that’s the only reason that he would be doing what he’s doing,” Rick said. “We are really proud that he accepted it as a dream of his and a goal, and despite the fact that it was not an easy path, he is making it happen for himself.”
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