Crafting a masterpiece one jumper at a time

By on January 24, 2018
Cocalico graduate Tucker Lescoe is averaging 15.9 points in his last seven games for 13-3 Hobart.  Photo by Kevin Colton, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Cocalico graduate Tucker Lescoe is averaging 15.9 points in his last seven games for 13-3 Hobart. Photo by Kevin Colton, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Tucker Lescoe, the guy with the picture-perfect jump shot, long ago pictured himself being exactly where he is (or at least someplace like it), doing exactly what he’s doing.

How long, precisely, has he envisioned playing college basketball?

“I think probably as young as first grade,” said Lescoe, a sophomore guard at Hobart College, in Geneva, N.Y.

Then it was a matter of the Cocalico graduate bringing the picture to life. Of treating every day in the gym as if it were one spent before his own personal easel, every drill like a chance to add another splash of color, every shot like another brushstroke.

And while his work to date has been suitable for framing – he finished his high school career as the Eagles’ all-time leading scorer, with 1,536 points, and last year was named Liberty League Rookie of the Year – it is not nearly complete. In fact, he is adding more bold tones by the day.

Over Hobart’s last seven games (all victories), he is scoring at a 15.9 point-per-game clip, while shooting a blistering 62.1 percent from the floor, and 60.4 percent from 3-point range. Overall those respective numbers stand at 13.6, 47.4 and 41.8. And the Statesmen are a tidy 13-3.

“We really think when his approach is correct and when he’s sound with his footwork and his preparation, he’s one of the best shooters around,” coach Tim Sweeney said, “and we have a ton of confidence in him.”

Lescoe is second in the Liberty League in three-point percentage, and tied for first in triples per game (3.0), while continuing to round out his game – becoming more effective in the mid-range, more on point with his passing, more diligent on defense.

“We really believe he’s more than just a shooter,” Sweeney said, “and we’ve said that from Day One.”

Sweeney, who has another Lancaster-Lebanon League product on his roster in junior forward Matt Walsh (Manheim Central), has not hesitated to share his vision with the 6-1, 186-pound Lescoe. Nor has he hesitated to push him, to bring out every ounce of potential he believes he possesses.

“He notices that I’m never satisfied and I always want to get better,” Lescoe said, “and he’s doing a lot to help me with that.”

This gets to the heart of who Lescoe is, and always has been. He first repaired to a court with his dad, Marc “Buzz” Lescoe, when he was 4 or 5. The two of them have been working together ever since.

“He loved being there, and he had a chance to be special,” the elder Lescoe said.

Marc, a long-time coach in the Cocalico system, played at Ephrata, graduating in 1989. He also served in the Marine Corps from 1994-98 — Tucker, in fact, was born to Marc and his wife Kimberly in Camp Lejeune, N.C., 21 years ago this coming August – which would suggest that these training sessions were (and are) far from casual exercises.

Marc can produce notes from a decade ago, detailing the things he and his son were working on at the time. He can recall heading to the gym with Tucker one Christmas Day, “after we opened presents.” More recently he can picture the pep talk his son received from Ryan Arcidiacono, then a star at Villanova, when the elder Lescoe took his players on a visit to the Main Line campus a few years back.

The way Marc tells it, Tucker had hit a lull in his training, but Arcidiacono reinforced some of the things he was already hearing from his dad.

“I was sort of like pumping my fist,” Marc said. “I’m like, ‘Yes.’ So glad Ryan said that, because we were at a rough road, getting stale a little bit.”

So it is that a career has been built, one jumper at a time. When asked if it is remotely possible to calculate the number of shots Tucker has put up in all those sweaty sessions over the years, neither he nor his dad could even begin to guess.

“It’s way up there,” Marc said. “I think I might have pretty many assists, if we’d count them up.”

In more ways than one.

“The best thing about it was just the time he and I had together,” Marc said. “I taught him how to shave in the middle of a shooting workout. We talked about all kinds of stuff. … Talked about how you treat your mother and how you treat girls. It was a great time for me to utilize the time together just to be a dad, too.”

Marc, whose nickname dates back to when he was “little, light and fast” and playing junior high football, has a nickname of his own for Kimberly: “Wonder Woman,” as she has for years been able to leap every familial challenge in a single bound.

The couple’s younger daughter Corrie is a hoops-playing Cocalico junior. Their older daughter Kayli played lacrosse at the school before graduating five years ago.

Then there is the tale of Shiron Hudson. A promising athlete at Cocalico a decade ago (particularly in football), he grew close to the Lescoes while living with a foster family. Then one day before his sophomore year, he walked into the school’s guidance office, where Kimberly works.

According to Marc, Hudson informed one and all that his foster family could no longer look after him, and he didn’t know where to turn. He did say that he sure as heck wouldn’t mind living with Coach Buzz and his family, though.

Marc and Kimberly were in favor of adoption, and during a subsequent family meeting the children all said they were all on board as well, while voicing minor concerns. The girls wanted to make sure they had their own room, for one.

And Tucker?

“Tucker just wanted to make sure I’d still shoot with him,” Marc said.

Shiron’s adoption, Tucker said, “was a big thing for our family, but we love him. Everything was great. Everything still is great.”

Shiron did in fact play football for the Eagles, and went on to earn a degree from Shippensburg. He now works as a permit analyst in Orange County, Fla. Kayli, having borne Marc and Kimberly’s first grandchild, is employed by United Zion Retirement Community in Lititz.

And Tucker keeps plugging along. Out of high school he chose Hobart over Randolph-Macon and American International – the latter coached by Cocalico grad Andy Burkholder — despite receiving overtures from Division I schools like Brown, Holy Cross, Boston University, Penn and Bucknell.

He wanted to play right away, he said at the time, and that proved to be the case.

Now he wants something more. Now he wants to craft a masterpiece, one jumper at a time.

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One Comment

  1. Beth

    January 25, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Awesome article on a fantastic family. When you stop and think that every team came into the games against Cocalico trying to STOP Tucker Lescoe and he still managed to put up all those points – it’s amazing. Remember he missed 12 games due to injury over his four years in H.S. too! He’s an amazing athlete but even more important an amazing person off the court as well. Thanks for featuring a family that truly made a difference in many people’s lives over the years, mine included!

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