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Larry Tucker: Being a student-athlete was "principal" to his success

High school principal passes on lessons he learned on the basketball court to his students

As a college basketball player, Larry Tucker set school records in career scoring, career field goals made, points per game average and field-goal percentage.

Yet, the former Lewis University standout says he was “one of the worst shooters on the team.”

“I shot three-foot shots around the basket.  I worked extremely hard at becoming good at doing one thing very well,” is how he explains holding all the school scoring records.

Something sure was working for him from 1980-1983 when he accumulated a staggering 2,120 points while averaging 20.3 points per game on 67.8 percent shooting from the field.  In doing so, he led the Great Lakes Valley Conference school from Romeoville, Ill., to its first NCAA Division II tournament berth in 1982 and again in 1983.

Larry Tucker, Lewis University

Larry has since gone on to become the principal at his former high school, Marist High School in Chicago, where he is busy influencing the future of 1,800 young men and women by applying many of the things he learned from playing for the Flyers.

“To me, it’s taking those same attributes from college athletics. We’re going to work hard. We’re going to know who we’re up against. We’re not going to give up. We’re going to get knocked down a few times, but we’re going to keep getting back up and getting after it.”

Larry knows being a student-athlete opened many doors for him.  Now, he uses his position these days to help a new generation of kids pursue their academic and athletic dreams.  Having gone full circle, he encourages his students to set goals, work hard and never give up.

“The bottom line for me is telling the kids just to hold on to their dreams,” he says. “They may come true.  They may not. But for me, I just didn’t want to have that regret that I didn’t work hard enough.”


Larry Tucker
High school principal

Hometown: Chicago

Current City: Chicago

School: Bachelor degree in economics, Lewis University, 1983; Master’s degree in English, Chicago State University, 1994 

Sport: Basketball

Fun Fact: At 6’6”, Larry is the shortest sibling in his family

After the Game

We are proud of all our former student-athletes, and in recognition of their accomplishments after their playing days, we launched NCAA After the Game.  Our goal is simple: to celebrate the former student-athlete.

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