Separated by mere city blocks, two local high school basketball standouts signed off on the next step of their careers Wednesday – playing at NCAA Division I programs about 800 miles from each other.
It was the early national-letter-of-intent period Wednesday for non-football players.
Lincoln High’s Tre’Shaun Fletcher (formerly Tre’Shaun Lexing), a 6-foot-6 forward, signed with Colorado. Bellarmine Prep’s Lucas Meikle, a 6-8 forward, signed with Gonzaga.
Not since 2001 have two Tacoma-school boys’ basketball players been part of the same recruiting class. Back then, both Lincoln’s Justin Holt and Wilson’s Kevin Field signed with Oregon State.
And while the seniors both held signing ceremonies at their respective schools Wednesday, the settings were completely opposite.
Fletcher’s signing party was held in a packed Lincoln auditorium of seniors who were also there to listen to a sales pitch for upcoming graduation purchases.
When Fletcher was introduced, he walked on stage with prepared remarks. He only got through a few words before he was overcome with emotion – and left the podium to give his mother, Bobby, a huge hug in the front row of seating.
“It was tough,” Fletcher said. “I just felt good. I am excited. I am really happy. And I love my mom with all my heart.”
Fletcher returned to the stage, and was greeted by the biggest surprise – a personalized Buffaloes’ basketball poster with an image of him in a Colorado uniform.
“I knew that is where I wanted to go right away,” said Fletcher, the reigning Narrows 3A League co-most valuable player entering his fourth season as a starter for the Abes.
“The players and the system they run, I fit in well with. It is everything I need. It is a good fit for me.”
Meanwhile, earlier in the morning, Meikle held his signing celebration in a small conference room just outside the Bellarmine athletic office.
As he reached this pivotal point of his high school career, talk surfaced about where it all started for Meikle – in fourth grade with a youth team called the Tacoma Knights.
In fact, three teammates from back then are his Lions teammates now – guards Isaiah Flynn and Jacob Salazar, and forward Sefo Liufau, who will sign with Colorado for football in February. They attended Meikle’s signing party.
“It has been fast. It has been fast, that’s all I can say,” Meikle said. “I remember fourth grade. It is crazy to see fourth grade to now. It has been quite the journey.”
The Zags are going big in this recruiting class – literally. Besides Meikle, they signed Ryan Edwards, a 7-1 post player from Glacier High in Kalispell, Mont.
It is reminiscent of the last time the Zags took a Bellarmine Prep product – 1996, when they brought in Casey Calvary. Meikle has similar skills to Calvary – a long-armed, high-jumping forward who is an inside-outside threat.
“They play my style of basketball, I feel,” said Meikle, who met Calvary a couple of years ago. “The school and everything about it, it felt right – from basketball to school and to the people. It is the best school on the West Coast.”
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442
Locals who signed during the early signing period
Name | High school | Sport | College
Garrett Anderson / Emerald Ridge / Baseball / Washington
Brock Carpenter / Fife / Baseball / Seattle University
Nick Gagliardi / Gig Harbor / Baseball / Santa Clara
Alex Hardy / Emerald Ridge / Baseball / Washington
Logan Ice / Rogers / Baseball / Oregon State
Cole Johnson / White River / Baseball / Washington State
Nate Mondou / Charles Wright / Baseball / Wake Forest
Michael Sexton / Rogers / Baseball / Lewis-Clark State
Kellen Traxel / South Kitsap / Baseball / Washington
Stefan Van Horn/ Rogers / Baseball / Washington State
Tre’Shaun Fletcher / Lincoln / Basketball / Colorado
Lucas Meikle / Bellarmine Prep / Basketball / Gonzaga
Bethany Montgomery / Wilson / Basketball / Eastern Washington
Kalani Ulufale / Rogers / Basketball / Great Falls
Mackenzie Bourbanis / Fife / Fastpitch / Portland State
Alexandra Flynn / Wilson / Fastpitch / Howard
Meagan Hendrix / Emerald Ridge / Fastpitch / Portland State
Madisen Bentley / Life Christian / Golf / Portland State
Jordan Ferreira / Bellarmine Prep / Golf / Notre Dame
Cherokee Kim / Steilacoom / Golf / Washington State
Amber Takara / Stadium / Gymnastics / California
Sarah Carter / Sumner / Soccer / Gonzaga
Kaysha Darcy / Tahoma / Soccer / Idaho
Bailey Edwards / Stadium / Soccer / Puget Sound
Mackenzie Henke / Tahoma / Soccer / Nevada
Brie Hooks / Tahoma / Soccer / Colorado
Sarah Shimer / Federal Way / Soccer / Washington
Felicity Cann / Stadium / Swimming / Boise State
Logan Rysemus / Stadium / Swimming / LSU
Sophie Miller / Beamer / Volleyball / Eastern Washington
Caitlyn Naylor / Gig Harbor / Volleyball / Bloomfield (N.J.)
Ian Steen / Graham-Kapowsin / Wrestling / Western Colorado
Based on information submitted by athletic directors