Columbia High School in Decatur, Ga., has produced a number of Division I players over the years. Travis Leslie, a 6-foot-4 jumping jack from the class of 2008, is next.
Devario Hudson and Brian Kelly signed with Duquesne in 2004. Amu Saaka inked with South Florida and Johntavious Rucker signed with Georgia Southern in the 2006 class. The 2007 seniors include Georgia commit Jeremy Price and Georgia Tech commit Lance Storrs.
The lineage is there. And Leslie will certainly be amongst them by the time he heads off to college.
Leslie certainly proved that at the Georgia Hoops Fall Showcase, where he was amongst the top overall players at the event. He did a tremendous job of playing bigger than his size and rebounding out of his area. Leslie said his time to shine is now.
"Last year, nobody knew about me. Nobody noticed me," he said. "This year I hope it is my coming out party. I think I've been doing pretty good, playing well at the highest level."
Leslie and his Columbia teammates are defending a state championship. This year's schedule is filled with big time match-ups, including a battle against Wheeler High School. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
In the meantime, he is transforming his game from pure athleticism to a skilled player on the wing.
"I know I have to work on my perimeter game. That is the key for me," Leslie said. "I've been working out before practice, after practice and then go to the gym later in the day to work on it."
Schools from all over the country are taking notice. Leslie said Toledo, South Florida, Florida Atlantic, Clemson, Georgia and Georgia Tech have been out to see him play this year. Oklahoma State, UCLA, and Florida are also showing interest, he said.
Leslie said he knows he has to step it up a notch this season. There is a spot on a long line of Division I players to live up to in the process.