Luke Zeller

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Luke Zeller
Personal information
Born (1987-04-07) April 7, 1987 (age 29)
Ames, Iowa
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school Washington (Washington, Indiana)
College Notre Dame (2005–2009)
NBA draft 2009 / Undrafted
Playing career 2009–2014
Position Power forward / Center
Career history
2009–2010 Shiga Lakestars
2010 Naglis-Adakris
2010–2011 Bakersfield Jam
2011–2012 Austin Toros
2012–2013 Phoenix Suns
2013–2014 Austin Toros
Career highlights and awards

Lucas Joseph "Luke" Zeller (born April 7, 1987) is an American former professional basketball player who last played for the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. He is the brother of NBA players Tyler and Cody Zeller, and the nephew of former NBA player Al Eberhard.[1]

High school career[edit]

Zeller attended Washington High School in Washington, Indiana where he played for the basketball team all four years under coach Dave Omer. As a freshman in 2001–02, he averaged 15.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and as a sophomore in 2002–03, he averaged 18.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. As a junior in 2003–04, he averaged a near double-double with 19.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, becoming the first player in Washington High School history to eclipse the 1,000-point career mark. He participated in the Nike All-America camps in 2003 and 2004, and was a member of the USA North Team that captured the silver medal at the 2004 Men's Youth Development Festival. In five games, Zeller averaged 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.[2]

On November 10, 2004, Zeller signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball for the University of Notre Dame.[2]

As senior in 2004–05, Zeller averaged 19.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while leading his team to a 27–2 record and the Indiana Class 3A state championship. He finished the state championship game with 27 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists (a Class 3A state finals record).[3] In that game, he hit the game-winning shot from midcourt as time expired in overtime to lead the Hatchets to a 74–72 win over Plymouth.[4] He finished his high school career as a four-time all-state, all-section and all-conference honoree, and finished as Washington's all-time leader in points (1,727) and second in rebounds (820). The three-time team captain and two-time MVP became the only player in Washington High School history to be selected all-conference four times. He earned McDonald's All-American[5] and Indiana Mr. Basketball honors at the season's end,[6] was named the school's co-valedictorian, and earned National Honor Roll selection.[3]

College career[edit]

As a freshman at Notre Dame in 2005–06, Zeller averaged 3.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, and played in 27 contests and made nine starts. At the season's end, he earned Big East Academic All-Star Team honors, and was a member of the Athletes in Action team that captured the gold medal at the 2006 William Jones Cup in Taipei City, Taiwan.[3]

As a sophomore in 2006–07, Zeller started the first 16 games of the season and played in all 32 contests, while averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.[3] On December 16, 2006, he scored a then career-high 14 points in a 94–63 win over Elon.[7] On March 9, 2007, he scored four points in 18 minutes in the team's Big East Championship semi-final loss to Georgetown.[8] At the season's end, he was named the recipient of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award.[3]

In August 2007, Zeller travelled with Athletes in Action to Australia[9] where he played in eight exhibition games and averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds while netting double figures in five of those contests.[3]

As a junior in 2007–08, Zeller earned the Notre Dame Most Improved Player Award after averaging 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds coming off the bench in all 33 contests.[3]

As a senior in 2008–09, Zeller served as one of four captains. He played in all 36 games and earned seven starts during his final season, averaging a career-high 4.9 points per game, while bringing down 2.8 rebounds per contest.[3] Zeller had a career outing against USC Upstate in the season opener as he came off the bench in 19 minutes of action to score a career-high 18 points on 6-of-7 from the field and was 4-of-6 from three-point range. In addition to the 18 points, he grabbed five rebounds.[10] On November 24, 2008, he recorded his first career double-double in win over Indiana at the EA Sports Maui Invitational as he finished with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.[11] He concluded his career tied for third with 128 games played; he made 32 career starts and averaged 4.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.[3]

College statistics[edit]

2005–06 Notre Dame 27 9 13.7 .364 .339 .471 3.1 1.0 .1 .3 3.4
2006–07 Notre Dame 32 16 12.4 .489 .395 .667 2.2 .5 .3 .4 3.8
2007–08 Notre Dame 33 0 11.8 .426 .381 .538 2.2 .4 .4 .2 4.5
2008–09 Notre Dame 36 7 14.6 .396 .342 .615 2.8 .6 .2 .2 4.9
Career 128 32 13.2 .417 .360 .574 2.5 .6 .2 .3 4.2

Professional career[edit]

2009–10 season[edit]

After going undrafted in the 2009 NBA draft, Zeller joined the Chicago Bulls for the 2009 NBA Summer League[12] where he averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in four games. On July 31, 2009, he signed a one-year deal with the Shiga Lakestars of the Japanese bj league.[13] In 50 games for Shiga in 2009–10, he averaged 8.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

2010–11 season[edit]

On September 22, 2010, Zeller signed a one-year deal with Naglis-Adakris of the Lithuanian Basketball League.[13] However, he was released by the club on October 24 after appearing in six games.[13] On November 1, he was selected by the Iowa Energy in the second round of the 2010 NBA Development League Draft. A week later, he was traded to the Bakersfield Jam.[14] In 52 games for the Jam in 2010–11, he averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.[15]

2011–12 season[edit]

On November 1, 2011, Zeller was acquired by the Austin Toros in a trade with the Bakersfield Jam.[16] On December 9, he signed with the San Antonio Spurs. However, he was later waived by the team on December 24 after appearing in one preseason game, one day prior to the start of the 2011–12 NBA season.[17] He subsequently returned to the Toros, the Spurs' D-League affiliate team, and played out the 2011–12 season. In 33 games for the Toros, he averaged 8.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game,[15] helping Austin win the 2012 D-League championship.[18]

2012–13 season[edit]

In July 2012, Zeller joined the San Antonio Spurs for the 2012 NBA Summer League where he averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in three games. On September 28, 2012, he signed a partially guaranteed, two-year minimum salary contract with the Phoenix Suns.[13] On October 25, he was named in the Suns' opening-night roster.[19] He made his NBA debut on November 4, recording no stats in just under three minutes of action against the Orlando Magic. The following night, he scored a season-high 7 points in a loss to the Miami Heat. On November 27, he played against the Cleveland Cavaliers and his brother Tyler.[20] He played sparingly for the Suns in 2012–13, appearing in 16 out of a possible 55 games before being waived by the team on February 21, 2013.[21]

2013–14 season[edit]

On December 27, 2013, Zeller was reacquired by the Austin Toros.[22] He played out the rest of the season with the Toros, averaging 5.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 36 games.[15]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

2012–13 Phoenix 16 0 3.6 .346 .200 .000 .6 .2 .0 .0 1.2
Career 16 0 3.6 .346 .200 .000 .6 .2 .0 .0 1.2


Zeller is the son of Steve and Lorri Zeller, and has two younger brothers who also play basketball, Tyler and Cody.[23] Luke has one child, Kyston.


  1. ^ Miller, Sam (October 19, 2011). "Hoops Runs Through Luke Zeller's Family Tree". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Notre Dame Men's Basketball Signs Four To National Letters of Intent". November 10, 2004. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Luke Zeller Bio". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Shot". February 28, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Luke Zeller Named To 2005 McDonald's All-American Team". February 23, 2005. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Luke Zeller Named Indiana Mr. Basketball". April 10, 2005. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Notre Dame 94, Elon 63". December 16, 2006. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Hoyas nip Irish, advance to first Big East final since '96". March 9, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Luke Zeller To Tour Australia With Athletes In Action". June 20, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  10. ^ "#7/10 Irish Set To Ring In 2009 With New Year's Eve Contest In BIG EAST Opener At DePaul". December 30, 2008. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  11. ^ Bishop, Mary Beth (November 25, 2008). "Hoosiers lack 'resistance' in blowout". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Zeller picked for Chicago Bulls summer league team". June 26, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Luke Zeller player profile". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  14. ^ "2010-2011 Iowa Energy Transactions History". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "Luke Zeller D-League Stats". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Austin Toros Trade With Bakersfield Jam for Luke Zeller". November 1, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Spurs Waive Hassell and Zeller". December 11, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Austin Toros Win 2012 NBA Development League Championship". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  19. ^ Coro, Paul (October 25, 2012). "Phoenix Suns' Luke Zeller, Diante Garrett living out dreams". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Luke Zeller 2012-13 Game Log". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Suns Acquire Marcus Morris". February 21, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Austin Toros Acquire Luke Zeller". December 27, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  23. ^ Odeven, Ed (October 31, 2012). "Zeller's long journey to NBA began with Shiga Lakestars". Retrieved January 14, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
A. J. Ratliff
Indiana Mr. Basketball award
Succeeded by
Greg Oden