football

Leunens Phone Busy on First Call Day

Monday was a busy day for Maarty Leunen, the versatile 6-foot-9, 210-pound
forward from Redmond (Ore.) High School. He spent almost the entire day sitting
by the phone, as schools from all over the country called in to make their one
and only telephone contact in the month of June. It's simply been another chapter
in what has been an incredibly busy off-season for the top player in the entire
state of Oregon.
Leunen just returned from Richmond, where he participated in the week-long NBA
Players Association Camp.
"I had an awesome time," said Leunen. "I really enjoyed it."
Naturally, Leunen was enthusiastic getting a chance to play with many of the
top players in the country. But he appreciated more than just the action on
the court.
"I liked all the things they taught," said Leunen. "They did a lot of teaching
about things outside of basketball. And of course the games were fun too."
Leunen played for the Timberwolves squad at the camp, which finished with a 4-6
record. His teammates included the likes of Kalen Grimes, J.R. Smith, Kyle
Lowry, Toney Douglas, and Adam Williams. While it's always tough to stand out
in a camp filled with superstars, Leunen felt that he held his own.
"I thought I played very well," said Leunen. "It was tough scoring because you
always had a big guy on you and everyone was trying to get their own moneys
worth though."
There will be no breaks for Leunen as he will immediately head to Colorado
Springs to participate in the USA Basketball Men's Youth Developmental Festival
from June 25-29 where he will be a member of the USA West Team. Then, it's off
to Nike Camp in early July. AAU events with the Portland
Legends and Nike Team Oregon in Atlanta, Seattle, and Las Vegas dot his
schedule after that.
In addition, Leunen has spent the month of June competing for his high school
team. It's something that's important to Leunen, as the defending champs are
working on replacing four starters. He's been happy with his play with his
high school team, especially the way head coach Kelly Bokn has been using him
in preparation for next season.
"He pretty much changed our offense so I don't have to play in the post," said
Leunen. "I can also grab rebounds and bring the ball up court and set up the
offense. He's trying a lot of new things this summer."
Add in the fact that Leunen has been spending four nights a week umpiring
Little League games to raise funds for the Legends, and there's no question
that Leunen is one of the busiest high school basketball players in the
country.
As for Leunen's list of schools, despite all the phone calls, it remains the
same: Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Stanford, Arizona, Kansas, Duke, and
North Carolina - in no particular order. There have been recent concerns about
some of the schools on Leunen's list, as they have recently received verbal
commitments from players who play similar positions to him. Cases include Eric
Vierneisel's recent commitment to Cal and Josh Heytvelt's verbal to Gonzaga.
While this may affect other players, it doesn't appear to be a factor with
Leunen.
"I don't mind it," said Leunen. "You're going to have to compete with those
guys anyways. As long as they are players I like to play with, they're all
good options."
While it's a possibility that he may take all five official visits, Leunen
hopes he doesn't have to (he recently made unofficial visits to Oregon and
Oregon State). He plans to narrow things down to about 3-4 schools later on
this summer, hopefully after Nike camp.
"I am tired," said Leunen. "It's all been so hectic. But it's all stuff I
have fun doing, so it's not like I'm bored with it or anything."
Jed Tai is a senior writer with Hoopville.com
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