Little more than two years ago, Gus Leeper was playing basketball as a junior for Austin Westlake in the shadow of talented team mate Cody Doolin (starting PG for San Francisco). Defensively, Gus was solid but not spectacular. Then a funny thing happened. The light switch went on for him and he started to really WORK on his game and his body. Leeper became one of Austin Westlake Coach Tres Ellis' hardest working guys in practice, he took individual training lessons and he then bought in to my partner, T.J. Garza's Speed Killz Period strength and conditioning program.
The results: Gus had an outstanding senior campaign becoming a tough shot blocker who now had offensive moves around the basket and a bounce in his step. Two seasons playing on the circuit for the Texas D1 Ambassadors and as a product of a high quality high school program made the D1's begin to notice.
Leeper, (left #55) battles Middle Tennessee in the paint
Photo courtesy of Middle Tennessee State's official siteGus chose Arkansas-Little Rock mainly for the opportunity to be coached by former Arkansas Razorback & NBA veteran big man, Joe Kleine. He fully expected to be redshirted this season but when I spoke to Coach Kleine in the fall he told me that Gus was working "too dang hard" for UALR to put the redshirt on him. Fast forward now, 4 months later and Leeper has worked his way into the starting lineup. Last night on ESPN, I watched him run the floor extremely well, haul down 7 rebounds and if they can pull off the upset tonight against North Texas then he can punch his ticket to the Dance. Big Papa Rick Leeper sends me updates on his boy on a regular basis. We'll be watching tonight, Gus and much uf Austin will share your family's pride in your work ethic and accomplishments-Coach Max Ivany