Hough’s Luke Maye comes from an athletic family, but he’s quickly making a name for himself on the hardwood.
Luke’s parents, Mark and Aimee Maye, were standout athletes growing up.
Mark Maye was a marquee name in Charlotte in the 1980s. The former Independence High quarterback was an All-America player who went on to start at North Carolina. He also was a star center on the Patriots’ basketball team and was recruited as a baseball player.
The former Aimee Sockwell was Mecklenburg County girls’ basketball player of the year at West Charlotte, where she also played softball and tennis, but decided against playing collegiately.
Luke, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound sophomore, is following in their footsteps, already earning basketball offers from the Charlotte 49ers and the Davidson Wildcats while receiving attention from other Division I schools.
The All-I-Meck center said that his parents give him good advice.
“My mom and dad always say that I just need to focus on playing basketball and everything will work itself out,” the 15-year-old said.
Despite leading Hough with 16 points and nine rebounds a game as a freshman, Luke admits that he was disappointed that he was able to help his team win only seven of its 25 games last year.
“All that really matters is how our team does during the season,” he said. “If we do better this season, and I don’t do any of that stuff, I will be happy.”
Luke is confident that Hough will be able to leave last year’s struggles behind.
“We’re not going to be a team that people roll over,” he said. “We’re going to fight, have more chances of winning.”
Luke has shown improvement since last year, said Huskies coach Justin Batts. Playing summer ball with his Queen City Thunder AAU team, Luke has developed his ability to finish around the basket.
Batts said that Luke’s improvement has a lot to do with his body maturing. Maye has grown stronger, having hit the weight room to gain muscle mass, but he also worked on his quickness, ball-handling and jumping ability to grow into a better all-around player.
“All those things translate into him being a better post player,” Batts said.
Luke should also get a boost from his teammates’ improvement.
“It’s going to make him even more dangerous,” Batts said.
“If they try to key in on him, we have some weapons around him that we’ll be able to exploit.”
Batts knows that his team was stagnant at times when opponents focused on Luke. He hopes that having three other starters back – point guard Drexler Clark, shooting guard Theo Mack and small forward Jaqueaz Jackson – will help the team move past that.
Batts said that Mack, a strong 3-point shooter, has developed the most by learning to drive to the basket and to play through contact.
Jackson and Clark have also shown improvement, and Batts expects them to be more consistent in their third year at the varsity level.
The addition of 6-10 Pine Lake Prep transfer Tucker Thompson should help the Huskies with rebounding, which is something they lacked in last year.
The junior’s arrival will also allow Luke to move to the power forward spot, where he feels more comfortable.
Luke admits that it was difficult for him to play with his back to the basket. Although he has worked to improve that, Luke should benefit from the move because of his ability to shoot and play off the ball.
“I’ll just take what the defense gives me,” Luke said.
That means forcing bigger opponents to defend him in the perimeter or taking smaller defenders inside and being physical.
Batts said that playing power forward should allow Luke’s assist numbers to go up, as he’ll be better able to use his height and basketball IQ to find open teammates.
Luke should still be the center of attention for opponents, but he said he will not allow that extra focus to faze him.
“I think it makes me play looser, more confident,” he said.