By Dan Sabol To the casual observer, with the Wittenberg men’s basketball team returning all but two players from a NCAA second round finish last season, it would be hard for the excitement to get any higher going into the season. However, there is a reason that expectations should be even higher, and that reason is Zach Leahy. Leahy, a sophomore point guard, transferred to Wittenberg from the University of Toledo over the summer. Last year, Toledo had undergone a coaching change, and had a shortage of players. This allowed Leahy to assume a significant role on the Rockets basketball team. He made 9 starts, played 18.2 minutes per game and averaged 4.8 points per game. But, Zach isn’t just a great athlete; at Toledo he carried a 3.8 GPA. Zach’s transition to Wittenberg has been smooth so far, as he enjoys his classes and has decided to major in Business Management. He says that he enjoys the small school setting and that he hasn’t felt like a transfer student in any way. Leahy says that the basketball team has been very welcoming and he has already assumed the starting point guard role. His knowledge of the game and interesting experiences he had playing at the Division I level should help him throughout his first season in Division III. “We were about to play a game at the University of Illinois, and I unknowingly accepted a Facebook friend request from an Illinois student,” said Leahy. “Playing in Assembly Hall at Illinois was indescribable. But after the game, we got on the bus, and I had over 60 missed calls and texts from Illinois fans, and let’s just say they weren’t the nicest of messages.” The new addition to the Tiger basketball team also hit the game winning free throws in a game against Florida Gulf Coast, which he says is his best memory of his time at Toledo. It is clutch performances like this that will really help Wittenberg in the upcoming season. Getting a D1 transfer is always an important acquisition for any Division III school, especially after losing two important guards to graduation. Adding Leahy to an already stellar team will only increase the Tigers’ title chances. Furthermore, with two starting sophomore guards, Leahy and Steve Newell, the Wittenberg backcourt seems to be set for the next three years. It will be exciting to see what Leahy and the team can accomplish this year and beyond.
(Ben Groff / email@example.com)