The kick off of summer basketball has been more low-key this summer than usual. But that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill, inside information and whispers from rolling around the area.
The biggest rumor: a transfer to Homestead High School of Fletcher Loyer was confirmed this past weekend after being an all but done deal since earlier in June.
Loyer, who starred for Clarkston High School in Michigan, plays for Indy Heat’s 2022 squad and has been impressive in the tune up weekends played in Fort Wayne this June. Loyer confirmed to the Oakland Press and others this weekend his move to Fort Wayne and his future playing for coach Chris Johnson at Homestead High School where he will be a junior this coming school year. Outside the Huddle spoke to Loyer on Wednesday during Homestead’s open gym session.
“They’ve all accepted me really well. Just meeting the new guys this week as teammates, playing with them, they’ve all been great to me. No one is looking at me differently, they are all looking at me as one. It’s been great moving in here playing with all these guys,” Loyer said.
Clarkston, Michigan isn’t a new name to basketball fans in the state or the Summit City. The program formerly housed Dane Fife, who played at Indiana University and later coached in Fort Wayne at IPFW. Fife is now an assistant at Michigan State, where Foster Loyer – Fletcher’s older brother – was a sophomore this past season. Both Fife and Foster Loyer were Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan.
The move comes with much of Loyer’s family already living in Fort Wayne, including an aunt that coaches volleyball at Concordia Lutheran. Loyer’s mom Katie is from Indiana originally and was familiar with the area. Once the family set focus on Fort Wayne, the Homestead school district stood out to them for several reasons including the program’s history.
“The tradition of Indiana basketball, the history is a lot bigger. Looking forward to what it has in store for me and the differences between Indiana and Michigan basketball,” Fletcher Loyer said.
Loyer already holds offers to seven different Division I programs with Utah recently joining the list of serious pursuers. Other teams who have offered a scholarship to Loyer are Michigan, Purdue, Toledo, Nebraska, Detroit and Denver. 247Sports also lists Louisville, Notre Dame and Belmont as teams showing interest in Loyer.
Loyer will come to Fort Wayne and Homestead as another ace shooter on a team full of captivating long range scorers. He hit 60 three pointers last season as a sophomore at Clarkston, hitting at a 48 percent success rate on those shots for a 21-1 team. Loyer was averaging 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest when the coronavirus pandemic halted the season in Michigan. In his two seasons with Clarkston, Loyer helped the program to a combined 39-4 record.
Somewhere between 6-foot-2 and 6-5 – depending on what roster or scouting service you browse – Loyer’s length will help spread out the floor better for Homestead who already boasts bigger shooters who can also play at the rim in Luke Goode, Andrew Leeper and Grant Simmons. Loyer and Leeper play together on their Indy Heat 2022 team.
“I’ve always been a winner. Coming into a place, I want to win. Skill set wise, I’d say I’m a good shooter that plays well with others,” Loyer said. “Move the ball well, make everyone else better around me. Really just doing whatever it takes to win.”
Basketball is the primary focus of the Loyer family. John Loyer – Fletcher’s father – was a college and professional coach from 1987 through 2014, including a stint as the interim head coach of the Detroit Pistons. John Loyer currently acts as the Director of Pro Scouting for the Los Angeles Clippers. Bringing a player of Fletcher Loyer’s pedigree to Homestead is big for the Spartans and it also helps Loyer himself better understand high profile expectations.
“Expectation wise, just doing my best and whatever it takes to win. Going out there and playing hard every night,” Loyer said.
“That is a coach’s dream anytime you get players coming in that can shoot the basketball the way he can and Luke can. You are looking at two major Division I players. Now we need to find that combination where everything is clicking together,” Homestead coach Chris Johnson said. “When I heard he was coming, it is exciting from a coach’s standpoint to be able to have a player of his stature coming into your program.”
In his first two weekends of play at Parkview SportOne Fieldhouse this summer, Loyer was able to score on multiple levels. Known as a shooter and carrying that burden into various opposing defensive schemes, he still shot the ball well. Equally impressive was ability to get to the basket and score through defenders with his Indy Heat 2022 team. Loyer was often the top offensive player on his team full of scoring standouts and was always looking to get to the basket, impressing the smaller crowds allowed in the gym and playing the first weekend in front of Johnson, his new Homestead coach.