Craig Swanson says enrolling him in Long Island Lutheran High School  was “the best move my parents made.”

That decision was hard to argue on Saturday as Swanson, a former LuHi varsity basketball player, returned to his alma mater in Brookville to be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame as part of the homecoming celebration. For Swanson, it was yet another highlight on a journey that has taken him across the country and around the world since he graduated from LuHi in 1971.

“It’s a great honor,” Swanson said of his induction. “I’m humbled by the whole thing.”

After graduating Swanson entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a basketball scholarship. He later transferred to Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, graduating in 1976. He went on to play professional basketball for six years in Sweden, France and Uruguay.

“That [playing professional basketball] was a lot of fun,” Swanson said. “It was a great experience.”

During his time abroad, he maintained a strong connection with the Lutheran community, and in 1982, he returned to the United States to begin a career teaching in the Lutheran school system. He taught and coached basketball for 15 years in Lutheran schools in Florida and California before taking a position as principal of Utah’s Salt Lake Lutheran High School in 1997. Last year, he became principal at Rancho Christian School in Temecula, California.

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Swanson traveled from California to be honored at Saturday’s homecoming ceremony, a celebration of the school’s past and present athletics.

“We’re 57 years old this year, with just under 5,000 alumni,” Head of School Andrew Gove said. “Today is a reminder of our history.”

Homecoming was a reminder for Swanson of the reason he stayed within the Lutheran school system, noting some of the teachers, coaches, mentors and friends who were there to see him honored.

Said Swanson of LuHi, “It’s a close family with great players and great people.”