|No. 5 – Townsville Crocodiles|
31 December 1982 |
Hope Forest, South Australia
|Listed height||216 cm (7 ft 1 in)|
|Listed weight||115 kg (254 lb)|
|High school||Lake Ginninderra College
|College||Georgia Tech (2001–2005)|
|NBA draft||2005 / Undrafted|
|2005–2006||Fort Worth Flyers|
|2006–2007||Fort Worth Flyers|
|2007||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Luke Dean Schenscher (born 31 December 1982) is an Australian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Townsville Crocodiles of the National Basketball League (NBL). He is a former NBA player with the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers, and is an NBL championship player with the Perth Wildcats.
High school and college career
Schenscher was born in Hope Forest, South Australia, a small town on the Fleurieu Peninsula approximately 20km south of the southern Adelaide suburb of Noarlunga. Growing up on his parents farm, he began playing junior basketball for the Noarlunga City Tigers (now Southern Tigers after merging with the Adelaide Southern Suns in 2003), the same club that had produced Olympic Games representatives Mark Bradtke (Boomers) and Julie Nykiel, Michelle Brogan and Carla Porter (Opals), as well as 1984 Opals coach Brendan Flynn. During his high school years, he played three years of basketball with the Australian Institute of Sport (1998–2000).
In 2001, Schenscher became the first high school player to represent the senior Australian men's basketball team, the Boomers when he was selected to the team for the East Asian Games.
From 2001 to 2005, Schenscher attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly referred to as Georgia Tech, starting the majority of his career at the centre position, and in the 2003–04 season along with Jarrett Jack was a member of the Yellow Jackets team which lost the NCAA championship game against the Connecticut Huskies 73-82. In the final played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Schenscher scored 9 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. This, combined with his 19 points and 12 rebounds in the 67-65 semi-final win over Oklahoma State, helped him receive All-Final Four Team honors.
After college the 7'1" (216 cm) tall centre attempted to make an NBA roster. He succeeded in becoming a member of the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings 2005–06 pre-season rosters. He signed to the Fort Worth Flyers to play in the NBA D-League, ranking in the top 50 players for points per game and top 20 for rebounds per game. He then signed a 10-day contract with the Chicago Bulls on 5 March 2006, becoming the third Australian Boomers centre to play for the Bulls following in the footsteps of Luc Longley (starting centre for the Bulls 1996–1998 NBA championship three-peat) and Chris Anstey who was a Bull in 1999–2000. Schenscher played 12 minutes, scored 4 points and grabbed 1 rebound in his first game. He earned a second 10-day contract as soon as the first expired and was then signed for the rest of the season.
It was widely believed Schenscher was to sign with the South Dragons to play in the National Basketball League as the team's first contracted player for the 2006–07 NBL season. This did not happen and fellow South Australian Joe Ingles was signed by the Dragons while Schenscher was with Chicago. On 17 July 2006, power forward Darius Songaila left Chicago to join the Washington Wizards which opened up the possibility of Schenscher having a more prominent role on the Bulls. However, on 30 October 2006, one day before the beginning of the 2006–07 season, the Bulls waived him. He returned to the Flyers for the 2006–07 D-League season.
In March 2007, Schenscher was signed to a 10-day contract by the Portland Trail Blazers, who at that time had lost several big men (Joel Przybilla, Raef LaFrentz) to injury. On 24 March, his stay with the Trail Blazers was extended with a second 10-day contract. At the end of the second 10-day contract, the Trail Blazers decided to sign Schenscher for the remainder of the season.
In the summer of 2007, Schenscher signed a one-year deal with the reigning German champions, Brose Baskets. As the son of German emigrants, he was considered a local and therefore not subject to any restrictions on non-EU nationals in the German league. However, he managed just one game for Brose before being waived by the team in November 2007.
On 15 April 2008, Schenscher's home town club, the Adelaide 36ers confirmed that they had agreed to terms with Schenscher for a one-year deal for the 2008–09 NBL season. Adelaide coach Scott Ninnis was ecstatic with the signing of Schensher: "I've received nothing but positive remarks from the public about the current direction of the club, and I am certain there are exciting times ahead. Luke only compliments [sic] the group we already have in place and anytime you add a player over 7 feet tall with NBA experience, he's going to have an impact". Schenscher averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds for the season, receiving player of the week honours twice and player of the month for January and February. He had 19 points and 18 rebounds against Sydney, went up against Australian Boomers and ex-Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks (NBA) centre Chris Anstey and had 17 points and 22 rebounds in one game and 21 points and 15 rebounds in another, he also hit 37 points and 15 rebounds against the Wollongong Hawks and if that was not enough he poured in a massive 33 points 20 rebounds against the Perth Wildcats. In doing so he became the first player in the NBL to record at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game since Mark Bradtke did so for the 36ers back in 1992.
In September 2009, Schenscher signed a deal to join the Perth Wildcats of the Australian NBL for the 2009–10 NBL season. The addition proved pivotal early on in the season, with fellow big-man, Paul Rogers (a fellow South Australian), succumbing to a serious elbow injury less than a month into the season. Schenscher and the Wildcats went on to win the NBL championship with a 2-1 grand final series win over the Wollongong Hawks.
Schenscher signed on to play for the Townsville Crocodiles in the 2010–11 NBL season where he helped the Crocs to finish the regular season in 2nd place with a 17-11 record. He played in all 28 games as the starting centre and averaged 13.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 24.5 minutes per game, form that saw him selected to the 2011 All-NBL second team and receive the Kevin Sugars Medal for most valuable player for the Crocs.
Schenscher's contract with Townsville expired at the conclusion of the 2010–11 season leaving him as a free agent. He was expected to either re-sign with the Crocodiles or to move home and re-join the Adelaide 36ers. Schenscher eventually chose to re-sign with the Crocodiles for the 2011–12 season.
Return to Adelaide
Following the 2011–12 NBL season in which the Crocodiles finished 4th, beaten in the semi-finals by the reigning and eventual champions, the New Zealand Breakers, Schenscher signed a two-year deal (with the option of a third) to re-join the Adelaide 36ers in May 2012, hoping to help the team he supported when growing up in Adelaide move from the bottom of the ladder and back into the finals.
After the 36ers finished on the bottom of the NBL ladder for the third time in four seasons, including the last two in a row, head coach Marty Clarke was fired after the 2012–13 season and the club hired Joey Wright, the 2007 NBL championship coach with the now defunct Brisbane Bullets to lead the team in the 2013–14 NBL season. After a slow personal start to the season, Schenscher, who had moved to a bench role behind Daniel Johnson, came on strong in the second half of the season and helped Adelaide to reach the 2014 NBL Grand Final series against the Perth Wildcats.
Return to Townsville
On 17 July 2015, Schenscher signed a three-year deal with the Townsville Crocodiles, returning to the club for a second stint.
Schenscher is a fan of Australian rules football and is a known supporter of the Glenelg Football Club who play in the South Australian National Football League. As of 2013, he was one of seven Ambassadors of the club.
- Southern Tigers Club History
- Excellence : the Australian Institute of Sport. Canberra: Australian Sports Commission. 2002. ISBN 174013060X.
- Bulls Sign Luke Schenscher to 10-Day Contract. Retrieved 6 March 2006.
- Howell, Stephen (24 December 2005). "Dragons set to sign 'Big Red'". The Age.
- Chicago Bulls (2006). Bulls Waive Luke Schenscher. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
- The Oregonian (2007). Quick: Randolph's return spoiled by Garnett, Timberwolves. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
- Associated Press (2007) Trail Blazers Sign Center Luke Schenscher for Remainder of Season. Retrieved 4 April 2007
- "Brose Baskets signs Aussie center Luke Schenscher". Euroleague.net. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
- "Sixers land Schenscher". foxsports.com.au. April 15, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- Perth Wildcats swoop on Luke Schenscher for coming NBL season
- Luke, Perth star on 36ers' horizon
- Adelaide 36ers sign Schenscher
- Adelaide 36ers to meet Perth Wildcats in NBL grand finals series
- Schensch Locked In For 2014/15[dead link]
- SCHENSCHER TO RETURN TO THE SWAMP
- Glenelg Football Club Ambassadors
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com
- Georgia Tech bio
- NBL stats
- NBL Wiki profile