Maarty Leunen, the versatile 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Redmond, Ore., is
glad to be back home after an extremely busy summer. After months of
basketball camps and tournaments all around the country, he is taking time off
right now for some much needed R&R. But he isn't resting long, as he and his
family have been lining up his official visits.
When we recently called the Leunen home, Maarty was rightfully relaxing out on
the golf course. But his mother, Marjie Leunen, was more than happy to fill us
in on their itinerary for the next few months. The Leunens have four official
visits currently planned: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, and Gonzaga.
The in-state schools will be first on the schedule and are currently the only
dates set in stone. The Leunens will make the trip to Eugene and the campus of
the University of Oregon from August 19-20. The following week, they will head
to Corvallis to visit Oregon State from August 27-28. The UCLA and Gonzaga
visits are still in the works, but they will be made and have tentative dates.
The trip to UCLA is penciled in for September 12-14, while Gonzaga is planned
for October 10-12.
While a fifth visit is not scheduled at this time, it could still be a
possibility, according to Mrs. Leunen. Arizona and Kansas remain in contact
with Maarty, and should something arise with either of those two schools, the
Leunens will consider visiting one of those campuses. Cal, which had
previously offered Leunen, has been eliminated from the process.
It should come as no surprise that Leunen is currently priority number one for
both Oregon and Oregon State. Both programs were very visible to Leunen during
his last two-week stint in Las Vegas for the adidas Big Time and the Las Vegas
Summer Classic. In fact, Oregon State head coach Jay John made extra effort to
be at every one of Leunen's games, only missing one game to return to Corvallis
due to the passing of Helen Gill, the widow of legendary OSU coach Slats Gill.
Ernie Kent and the Ducks in particular are pushing hard for a commitment from
the versatile forward. Keeping Leunen in-state in some ways could be critical
to how future non-Portland area stars view both programs and staying close to
home in future years.
Gonzaga has also made Leunen their current top recruit, but according to Mrs.
Leunen have been "really laid back" about the process, taking a more relaxed
approach. A commitment from Leunen would be the crowning jewel on what has
already been a fantastic haul for the Zags, who previously landed verbals from
in-state stars David Pendergraft and Josh Heytvelt.
UCLA entered the picture only recently, but could be a sleeper pick. Head
Coach Ben Howland has made a late push, and is trying to play on the program's
tradition and Leunen's childhood dreams of being a Bruin (which Leunen has
stated will not factor into the decision). According to Mrs. Leunen, Howland
has pleaded that her son wait on any commitment until he at least makes a visit
Leunen's parents have always stated that any decision Maarty makes is
completely up to him, and that there is no timeline other than that he will
sign in the fall. However, Mrs. Leunen is hoping that her son makes a decision
soon after all his visits are completed and before the basketball season gets
"I'm hoping that in mid-October Maarty knows where he wants to go," said Mrs.
Leunen. "That way when he takes the floor in his Redmond jersey there will be
no pressure. He can just play basketball and have fun."
Leunen is the number 109 player in the Class of 2004 in Rivals.com latest Rivals150 list.