Braden Luke MCC

Meridian Community College infielder Braden Luke is picture during a game for the Eagles this past spring.

Braden Luke’s family is a mix of Southern Miss fans on his dad’s side and Mississippi State fans on his mom’s side.

So when the Meridian Community College infielder and 2020 West Lauderdale graduate went on an official visit to Ole Miss, those same family members had plenty of tongue-in-cheek comments for Luke.

“Some of them joked that I’d better not go there,” Luke said with a chuckle. 

That didn’t shy Luke away from wanting to complete his final two college seasons in Oxford, as Luke announced on his Twitter account his commitment to the Rebels on Oct. 10.

“I told them about it after I committed, and to my surprise they were actually pretty excited about it,” Luke said. “I did get a few little comments about how they’ll support me but won’t root for Ole Miss.”

Luke hit .399 for MCC this past season with a .467 on-base average and .673 slugging percentage, driving in 54 runs and hitting 13 doubles and nine home runs for the Eagles. His production garnered him interest from multiple schools, and Luke said he ultimately felt at home when he visited Oxford.

“I went on some other visits but felt that everything suited me on my visit to Ole Miss,” Luke said. “Coach Sudd (MCC head coach Dillon Sudduth) pretty much said how everyone looks at it: SEC baseball is the pinnacle for playing baseball at the amateur level. The opportunity is hard to pass up, and I felt like it was a good fit.”

That opportunity is both exciting and humbling, Luke said.

“Every baseball player’s dream is to play at the highest level,” Luke said. “The last few years and going back even farther, SEC baseball is the highest level. It doesn’t get better, and that opportunity is eye-opening. It’s hard to pass that up, so you have to jump on (the opportunity). When it was presented to me, I went in with both feet and decided that I was ready to play SEC baseball.”

And Luke credited playing baseball at West Lauderdale and MCC for helping prepare him to earn the chance at playing at the SEC level.

“West Lauderdale has always had that tradition of excellence,” Luke said. “You look at all the great players that come out of West Lauderdale, and there’s a reason for that. There wasn’t much that MCC had to change or help when I got here, it was more fine-tuning of the little things, and they definitely helped me a lot with the finer things in baseball that put me at that next level.”

Luke is the son of April and Cary Luke.

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