Currently undergoing rehabilitation in Tucson for the broken left wrist he sustained in the wreck, he said he believes that he will be able to begin practicing in late December. As a transfer, he has to sit out the 1999-2000 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Arizona head coach Lute Olson was also present at the press conference, and a selection of his quotes follow's Recker's quotes.
The Wildcats' first day of practice for the 1999-2000 will be on Saturday, Oct. 16 and the annual media day will be Monday, Oct. 18, at noon in McKale Center. Arizona opens the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 16, hosting Kansas State in the first round of the Preseason NIT. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. and it will be televised on ESPN2.
Arizona Basketball Press Conference Luke Recker & Lute Olson Quotes September 15, 1999
Recker: On returning to basketball: Hopefully, I can get back in the gym pretty soon and start doing some individual work. Mostly just shooting because my hands probably not healed up enough to work on ball-handling. But, I'd like to get back in the swing of things because it's been a tough, couple months and not having basketball has been rough on me.
On adjusting to Tucson: I've really adjusted well. One thing about basketball that is an advantage is you meet a lot of the guys through summer camps and through different organizations. The guys have been great. I'm living with Justin Wessel and John Ash, they've really showed me around. And like I said, everyone else on the team has been terrific. I've been very fortunate, I'm starting to meet more people. The toughest part is everything going on back home and not being able to play basketball
Being a transfer: I think I have an advantage in the fact that I've been through college for two years. Unlike a typical freshmen recruit adjusting to the college life, I've been through it. I understand what it takes to get grades and still manage your time to be able to play basketball. I'm fortunate in that aspect.
Remembering the accident: I think, without a doubt, it's something that you'll never forget. This is a life-changing experience and it's definitely changed my views on life and the perspective I have for it. I think it's something that I need to go on from here, I need to put things in perspective. I realize what I want to do, I have my goals and dreams of what I want to accomplish. It's important for me to try to get back into the swing of things and back into my daily routine. I'll never forget about and it's always in the back of my mind. But, it's something you can't dwell on because that's the hand I was dealt but now I just got to keep moving on and do the best I can to help out Kelly and her brother in any way.
On anonymity: It's been a nice change of pace. Obviously, when I played for Indiana University, we were very recognized and I think as time moves on here will be the same way, some of the players are very recognized here. But since I haven't played a game, it's been a nice adjustment because I can just be a normal student and concentrate on my schoolwork, rehab, and getting better to where I can play basketball again.
Shooting the Ball: I can shoot because I'm right-handed. This is kind of just a guide hand. It's tough when you haven't played for a couple months to go out there and get your shooting rhythm back. But it will all come back. Josh Pastner keeps telling me basketball is like riding a bike, once you learn how to do it, you never forget it. I'm hoping he's right.
Physical therapy: My wrist mobility hasn't really come back yet. Just simple things like me touching all the way to the fingers. I can't do yet. It's going to be tough for it to get back but they're working on that aspect. That's the main thing right now to get the mobility back to my wrists, where I could have the movements that I had prior to the injury. Once I get that and it strengthens and it heals properly, I'll definitely be back to full strength. I go to my physical therapist three days a week, but she obviously gives me exercises to do every day to try to strengthen my wrists and my hand. Hopefully, if I keep doing it properly, maybe we can get this healed faster.
Length of time: I'm going back to Indianapolis to see my hand surgeon again so then I'll have a better idea of how long it's going to be.
Realizing the seriousness of the injury: I never thought that basketball was over for me. I can't imagine myself not in the game. I can say that basketball was my priority at that time. A situation like this really changes your perspective on life. I just feel fortunate that I'm able to do the things that I'm able to do.
Lute Olson: On Recker's roommates: I think the primary thing that we've been concerned about is having Luke with guys that are familiar with the program here. It's great that he's in an apartment with John Ash and Justin Wessel because they've been around, other than Gene (Edgerson), longer than anyone. I think that's been helpful plus they're the kind of guys that are easy to be around and I'm sure of them trying to do everything they can with Luke to help him through the adjustment.
On Recker being unable to workout: It's hard right now for Luke in that he's not out there with the guys in pick-up games. We are anxious for the time to come when he's actually going to be on the floor, playing.
On Recker's leadership qualities: I think his experience and maturity are very much needed by us on this team because we are still awfully young. His toughness and competitiveness, I think will have a tremendous effect once he's able to be out there.
On weight-lifting: I did see him when he was working out in the weight room. They've got him started on some weight work with lower body.