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McDonald was all-MVC preseason

10/30/2003 - Drake Bulldogs

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A day after being selected to the all-Missouri Valley Conference preseason team, Luke McDonald said he won't play for Drake this season.

McDonald cited nagging foot injuries and his religious beliefs
as reasons he will leave the team.

McDonald is seventh on Drake's career scoring list and needed
330 points to pass Red Murrell as the school's all-time leader. But
foot problems that plagued McDonald's junior season have flared
again.

"I just felt that this is what I needed to do," McDonald said
Thursday.

McDonald also says he feels like he has been compromising the
beliefs of his church by playing on Saturday. He is affiliated with
the Church of God, which honors the Sabbath from sundown Friday to
sundown Saturday.

"That's always something I've been able to work around,"
McDonald said. "Just recently, I felt I should not compromise
anymore and really honor it."

New Drake coach Tom Davis says the news is not a surprise to
him.

"I'm sorry I'm not getting a chance to coach him because I
enjoy him," Davis said. "I want him to stay around the team in
any capacity he would like."

McDonald has played with bone spurs in both feet since high
school.

"Everything is pretty beat up," McDonald said. "It's kind of
fun to watch any doctor who looks at my X-rays. It's kind of like,
'Wow."'

"He told me that he knew he couldn't play the way he wanted to
play," Davis said. "I think that (was a factor), coupled with his
religious concerns. His religion is certainly important in his
life."

McDonald was the MVC freshman of the year in 2001 and was
first-team all-MVC as a sophomore, leading the league in scoring.
But the injuries slowed him through much of his junior season.