Rough ride to Kansas for basketball player

The Marysville Advocate by Sarah Kessinger

Bob and Connie Fisher of Centralia were expecting a guest from California last Friday when they received a phone call.

It was a co-worker of their guest’s mother, calling to say they’d be late because they were in Terminal C of Los Angeles International Airport where a gunman was causing chaos.

A local free-throw expert, Bob Fisher is well known for making the Guinness Book of World Records for his basketball shooting prowess.

He recently was contacted by the family of a young basketball player, who had seen Fisher in a shoot-off with Charles Barkley on the Jay Leno Show earlier this year. They asked Bob to spend a few days training Luke Love, a 6’4” standout high school freshman basketball player from Winnetka, Calif.

Fisher’s wife, Connie, said Monday that Luke and his mother did make it to Centralia even after facing the shock at LAX en route.

Connie recounted what Luke and his mother, Robyn Love, told them:

“His mother said they were going through security at LAX and Luke had not taken off his shoes so he had to return to take them off.”

“At that point, he saw the gunman coming up the stairs carrying an assault rifle walking toward them.”

Luke ran back to his mom, Connie said, and pushed her to the floor and the two hid under a conveyor belt at first.

“Then they were taken by security to another room, and he started pushing the copy machine in front of the door. He really had his wits about him.”

They heard all the shots, Connie said.

“Several pop, pop, pop gunshots.”

After the shooter was shot and the scene secure, Luke and his mother were interviewed by several media outlets and the FBI.

“He still had no shoes. They had to go to a store at the airport and buy him some because they had to leave everything in the terminal,” Connie said.

They had a phone and the clothes they were wearing and that was it, she said.

They remained determined to come to Kansas, and their flight left later that day. When they arrived in Kansas City “they were really surprised at the hospitality of Kansans,” Connie said. “Someone took Luke to Walmart so he could buy some extra clothes.”

They drove up Saturday to stay at Seneca’s Settle Inn, where they were given a free night.

“Throughout this whole ordeal to come up here to just get shooting lessons. They were so happy to be here,” Connie said.

“They’re just so dedicated. To me it’s just over the top for a 14-year-old to fly to Kansas for free-throw shooting lessons,” she said. “He said his ambition is to play at KU or Kentucky.”

The Fishers, who live five miles west of Centralia, said Luke left Monday and hopes to return, Connie said.

He not only enjoyed improving his game and the support he and his mother received here, she said, but they both also appreciated one particular thing after their airport trauma.

“They enjoyed how quiet the area was.”

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