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Luke Hancock Selected As USA Flag Bearer At World University Games

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Streeter Lecka

Some very patriotic news to share on this Fourth of July as Louisville's own Luke Hancock has been selected to be the flag-bearer for the United States during Saturday's opening ceremonies for the World University Games in Russia.

Hancock was selected out of more than 280 American athletes.

"That's a pretty cool feeling," Hancock said. "It will be a great moment that I'll be able to bring back with me."

The Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, Hancock turned heads nationally by playing inspired basketball in front of a father who was battling cancer. His father lost that battle last month, but not before he knew that his son would be trying out for the USA Basketball team.

"Everybody's excited when they get an invitation like this, to come play for their country," Hancock said. "I talked to my dad before I left. We talked about this. This is where he wanted me to be and this is kind of how my family wanted me to go through with it. I thought about not going, just staying home. But my dad made sure that I went. He made sure that I at least tried. It's been a rough week, but this is where he wanted me to be I guess.

"When I heard I made the team it was a pretty proud moment. But it was also a very tough moment because I couldn't call home and tell my dad. But my mom (Van) and I had a moment. This has been great for me and my family. It's kind of lifted everybody up just a little bit.

"It's an unbelievable feeling just to put USA across your chest," he said. "Even if it was just for tryouts or just for practice. To know that you have the opportunity to wear something that says you're playing for the U.S. It feels great."

Congratulations to Luke. I'm not sure anyone deserves it more.