Fletcher Loyer thrives in Indiana as old school stays idle amid Michigan sports shutdown

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Fletcher Loyer is happy to be back home in Indiana, playing high school basketball while his former team, Clarkston, has yet to play a game due to Michigan's continued shutdown of winter contact sports.

Loyer and his family, including older brother Foster Loyer, made the move from Indiana to Michigan when his father John Loyer joined the Pistons coaching staff, becoming the team’s interim head coach in 2014. John Loyer is now a scout with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Former Clarkston star Fletcher Loyer is playing basketball in Indiana this season.

Fletcher Loyer is not only playing, but flourishing as a 6-foot-4 junior while making the move from shooting guard — which he played his first two years at Clarkston — to point guard at Homestead High in Fort Wayne.

Loyer, who has committed to Purdue, is averaging 24.3 points to help Homestead to an 18-0 record and No. 1 ranking in the state of Indiana by the Associated Press.

Loyer has played 18 games — and without wearing a mask — as Michigan has put on hold basketball, wrestling, hockey and competitive cheer until at least Feb. 21.

When asked how Indiana has been able to play high school basketball, Loyer said: “I think really just taking precautions, depending on what county it is there’s certain limitations on what you can do and we’re just making sure everyone is following the right guidelines.

“We’ve had one (game) cancelled and one changed to a different date because of the other team. We (Homestead) haven’t had a positive case, had a few during the summer, but none during the season.”

More: Advocates for high school athletes file suit over shutdown; state defends decision

Loyer was asked how he would have felt if he still was at Clarkston, and prevented from playing.

“It would have stunk really bad. It’s been great that we’ve had this opportunity and for us to have somewhat of a normal season," he said. "Obviously, it’s a little weird with different games having different amounts of fans, but I’m not going to complain about it.”

Loyer scored a school-record 50 points in one game this season and has scored 30 or more in five games. He earned a spot on The News first-team all-state team for Division 1 last year after averaging 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists while making 60 3-pointers and shooting 48.1% from deep range while leading Clarkston to a 21-1 record and 20-game winning streak before the season was halted just prior to district championship games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve been playing a lot of point guard this year, so it’s a little bit better having the ball in your hands a lot of the time," Loyer said. "But it’s definitely different, some getting used to and just keeping my options open.”

Loyer hasn’t had the virus, but his older brother, former Mr. Basketball and current Michigan State junior guard Foster, tested positive over the summer. Foster Loyer led Clarkston to consecutive Class A state championships in 2017 and ’18.

“He actually got corona this summer, he hasn’t tested positive since then, but that’s really flustered him a bit," Fletcher said of Foster. "But now that they are back going, hopefully they’ll get a deep run in the Big Ten tournament and hopefully in March Madness."