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First-year men’s basketball player has more than just heart over height

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First-year men’s basketball player has more than just heart over height

Reese Leone warming up for his debut for Westminster against new PAC foe, Franciscan University.

First-year point guard, Reese Leone isn’t shy when it comes to making first impressions. Already a starter for the Westminster Men’s Basketball team. Leone totaled 13 points and 3 assists in Westminster’s home opener versus new PAC foe Franciscan. Leone also helped the Titans to a 19 point win over Bethany during the second game of the year, with 14 points and 2 assists. Leone also dished out career-high 7 assists and 5 points this past Saturday against Waynesburg University. There's no doubt in my mind that Reese Leone will be the perfect role and critical piece for a PAC Championship title run.

Coming in at 5’ 10”, his height is average for the general population. But in basketball he faces some tall competition. When watching him on the floor, you realize he’s fast and height doesn’t slow him down.

For Westminster Basketball, the title-run during last year’s campaign fell short while losing to Saint Vincent, 88-78, in the first-round of the PAC tournament. Additionally, the more significant loss would be the lack of point guards because three of the five players in the graduating class all played point guard; Preston Stitt, Ricky Roth, and Lloyd Chatman III.

However, Coach Kevin Siroki talked about the contributions that Leone brings to this team. Coach knew he had the right guy for the position.

“He’s proven it in practice to us, as well as being a pass-first player and knocking down shots,” said Siroki. “I think he got a lot of respect from his teammates early on, so I think that is how he is really going to lead our squad.”

Siroki also added Leone’s ability to lead on and off the court. 

“He’s just been a true leader. That is what comes out of him on and off the court. He had a 4.0 GPA, and he is going to lead our team here for the next four years.”

The Ohio native is coming out of West Branch High School in Beloit, Ohio. Leone became the all-time leading scorer his senior year with 1,170 points in his entire career as a Warrior. Yet, that isn’t what it is all about for the freshman point guard here at Westminster. 

“My main goal is to obviously win the league title," Leone said. "But with the crazy circumstances that is only possible by taking advantage of every opportunity we are given and taking care of business one step at a time.”

Senior Captain Daniel Ritter had the same interests as his teammate by pointing out his only goal for the season.

“PAC Champs, that’s it,” said Ritter.

Ritter strongly believes that Leone is the one of the best, if not, the best point guard in the PAC right now.

The thought that comes to mind when you see and hear about Reese Leone is a true warrior. Leone is undersized compared to most other point guards and other players in the PAC. Yet, that doesn’t stop him from making quick moves and creating opportunities for his team, whether it is driving to the hoop or dishing it down in the paint for his teammates to score. Leone talked about his journey a little bit and the advice he would give to anyone out there in the same situation he was in while growing up.

“Don’t stop working,” Leone said. “They know nothing about you or all the time you’ve put in. You’ll get as far as your work ethic takes you."

There’s no shock to me that the Titans are hungry for a championship this year. They believe they can get it done with their new leader and freshman point guard, Reese Leone.

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