Luke Witte is one of the more inspiring off-court stories associated with basketball. A 7'2 255-pound behemoth as a Ohio high schooler, Witte drew considerable attention and was tabbed to play at Ohio State. His strength near the basket at both ends was combined with a solid team-oriented game, that few doubted would make later him effective, if not a star, in the NBA. All of that changed in a key Big Ten matchup against Minnesota, led by high-intensity coach Bill ' Musclehead ' Musselman. Witte was very effective inside against a team that included future NBA Jim Brewer, Ron Behagan and future New York Yankee Dave Winfield. With the Buckeyes on their way to victory, the white Witte was suddenly attacked and beaten by several black Gopher players. Injuries sustained included a permanently-damaged cornea, which greatly reduced vision in one eye and greatly dimmed his NBA career, which ended prematurely. Witte nonetheless did try his best for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who also had drafted Brewer. After several seasons as an ineffective backup, he retired. Witte became a Christian minister, moving to North Carolina. Since then, he has publicly forgiven and even befriended his Minnesota attackers, who have themselves since apologized for their attacks.



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Luke Witte

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