Luke Paragon Wins Division-I Scholarship

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On New Year’s Eve 2020, Luke Paragon made the 25-minute commute from his home in Cicero, New York, to a YMCA in Fayetteville. It was snowing, but Paragon wanted to take some shots before the new year.

Paragon reached out to his high school coach, Kyle Martin, asking if they could train like they had since Martin took over at Cicero-North Syracuse High School in 2020. They ended up taking over 500 strokes.

“I’m not saying he deserved it, and he doesn’t mean it either, but he did,” said Peter Paragon, Luke’s father.

Paragon and Martin practiced together for five to six days a week as Paragon entered his second season for the Cicero-North varsity basketball team. He played above his age group for most of his life, making the C-NS freshman team as an eighth grader and then a sophomore varsity. Paragon’s rise has helped him land a spot on the Blair Academy (NJ) team this coming season, and he’s expected to attend Brown next fall.

By eighth grade, Paragon was mostly on the bench. But he savored every moment and said his lack of minutes as a young player kept him going.

“I always wanted to be better than them,” Paragon said. “It was playing with them and being able to train with them that made me better, but it also made me a lot more competitive.”

The following year, Paragon started with the JV team as a ninth grader. He retained this role the following year and was named captain for the next three seasons.

Paragon was always someone who could shoot the ball high from deep, primarily serving as the catch-and-shoot guy for the Northstars. His role changed when Martin arrived before his junior season.

“Right away we worked to get to the basket and change his way of scoring just to give him something extra,” Martin said. “He got really good at attacking the rim and getting into the paint.”

Paragon went from being a player who waited patiently for his 3-point arch shot to someone who always had the ball in his hands. He developed the ability to beat defenders from the dribble and shoot them from mid-range using his size.

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He knocked down 31 three-pointers in 20 games in his sophomore season, averaging 12.7 points per game despite C-NS finishing with a 2-18 record. Paragon increased his average to over 17 points his junior season, hitting 22 threes as the team finished 8-4 in a COVID-shortened season.

Last year, the Northstars finished 16-6, their best record in more than a decade and fifth-best in school history. Paragon averaged just under 20 points and hit 26 threes as C-NS advanced to the Class AA Section 3 quarterfinals in New York. He also scored inside, racking up 110 2-pointers, more than double his total the past two seasons combined.

Paragon also played with the New York Jayhawks, a New York-based AAU team. Every weekend from April to July, Paragon and his family drove to town for practices.

Paragon was exposed to more college coaches on the AAU circuit, and after strong performances in tournaments in Alabama and South Carolina, he received several Division I offers. He showed his shooting ability , but also showed his versatility using his size to crush offensive glass and play stellar defense at the guard post.

Patriot and Ivy League schools sued Paragon, but he ultimately chose Brown, just a week after he paid an unofficial visit to the school.

Paragon became C-NS’s first DI basketball player in 30 years — the first since Michael Brown signed on to play in Providence in 1992 — setting an example for those with the same aspiration to become a college basketball player.

“It’s pretty crazy, because I mean, I don’t really think about it without other people telling me,” Paragon said. “I’m just thinking about myself, so when he (Martin) says those things to me…it’s really great.”

Contact Zack: [email protected] | @ZakWolf22

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