ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The NIC-10’s basketball MVP from this past season has himself a full-ride scholarship to Clarke University. Rockford East senior Makarious ‘Biggie’ Luster signed a letter of intent with Clarke Thursday afternoon at East High School.
Clarke is an NAIA Division I school in Dubuque, Iowa. Two seasons ago Clarke qualified for the NAIA National Tournament but the tournament was canceled by the pandemic.
Luster’s scholarship is worth $35,000 a year.
This past season Luster averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. His athleticism and well-rounded play attracted Clarke’s coaches to him.
“He’s got the full package,” said Clarke assistant coach and Belvidere native Brandon Schwebke. “He’s an extreme athlete. He can get up and dunk over somebody. He can hit the three, and he can defend.”
“It’s just a dream come true,” said Luster of the scholarship and the chance to continue his education and his playing career. “I always thought about this when I was a little kid. For this to happen it’s a blessing.”
“I think I’ll be a great fit. I’ll come in there and start right away, play heavy minutes and score and help lead the team to a championship.”
East head coach Roy Sackmaster first promoted Luster to varsity as a sophomore. He knows what Clarke is getting. “I think they’re going to get an impact player immediately. I think he’s going to be a kid that goes in as a freshman, and he’s going to be able to make an impact and be able to play, and I think they’re going to get better immediately right away.”
Luster was a sophomore when East went to State and finished fourth. This past season he led East to the NIC-10 championship, the E-Rabs’ second in three years.
Luster plans to major in Engineering at Clarke.