Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Passion and strong work ethic lead to success for OU-C basketball star Brittany Leeson

Brittany is good for 1,000 points, and a picture is worth 1,000 words. View OU-C student-athlete Brittany Leeson discuss her college basketball career at OU-C on the campus’ YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/ouchillicothe

Brittany Leeson’s approach to basketball success combines passion and hard work. It has been a successful formula for the Ohio University-Chillicothe star, who recently scored the 1,000th point of her college career.

Leeson netted the milestone basket during a career-high 42-point effort vs. Ohio Christian University on Jan. 6. The 5-foot-7 junior guard from Southeastern High School needed 58 games to reach the landmark, averaging about 17 points per game over her career so far. She became the first OU-C women’s basketball player to score 1,000 career points since Amanda Angles, who is now an assistant coach, reached the number during the 2007-08 season.

“I have a passion for basketball. Ever since I was a kid, I have gone to the basketball court to relax,” Leeson said. “I love so many aspects about the game, such as dishing off the ball on a fast break and seeing how one good pass can turn into two points. One thing about basketball is that it’s a team game. I love my teammates, and we always support each other. I take it personally when we lose, and they help me out when I am upset.”

Leeson’s effort and selflessness are keys to her success.

“Her work ethic is her number one attribute,” OU-C women’s basketball Coach John Milliken said. “Brittany was a good player when she got here, and, through hard work, she has become a great player. She is always willing to make the necessary sacrifices to improve herself.”

“Brittany is the best team player I have ever coached. She is always looking to help her teammates and often takes players under her wing and helps them improve,” Milliken added. “She could actually have better personal statistics, but she is willing to share the ball.”

For the season, Leeson is averaging around 20 points a game. An all-around scholar-athlete, she is a two-time second-team All-Ohio Regional Campus Conference choice in basketball and an academic All-ORCC player in softball.

Leeson is Leeson is pursuing an associate degree in Deaf Studies Interpreting and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. “I want to work with children, maybe in a hospital or other health-care setting after graduation,” she said.

Her success is a product of her effort. During a typical weekday, Leeson is at the Shoemaker Center at 7:30 a.m. for a workout in the weight room, followed by time on the treadmill, line drills, a shoot -round and free throws. She does 10 repetitions of calisthenics for every free throw she misses.

Her time on the hardwoods has been a big part of Leeson’s college experience.

“Basketball is important to me. It is something I have been involved with since I was a kid, and I wanted to continue to play competitively in college,” Leeson said. “It is faster-paced and at a higher competition level than in high school.”

As the numbers and the accolades indicate, Leeson is making her mark on the OU-C athletics program.

“She plays to win and to have fun. You do not find a player like Brittany very often,” Milliken said. “Her kind is very rare.”

OU-C has a robust athletics program and fields women’s teams in volleyball, basketball, softball and tennis, and men’s teams in basketball, golf, baseball and tennis. The Chillicothe Campus competes in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference.

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