Although he's buried in the mountains of Central Oregon, Redmond (OR) HS junior
forward Maarty Leunen is slowly becoming one of the most versatile - and sought
after - big men in the Class of 2004 on the West Coast.
At 6-9, 210 pounds, Maarty (yes, spelled with two 'a's) Leunen initially made
his splash on the national scene at the Les Schwab Invitational Tournament in
December. While averaging 24 points and 13.3 rebounds and helping lead Redmond
to a third place finish, he caught the attention of several major conference
schools with his brilliant play in and out of the lane.
During the LSI, Redmond head coach Kelly Bokn noted that Oregon State, Cal, and
Gonzaga had shown interest in his rapidly developing forward. However, since
then interest has picked up. Oregon has gotten involved, and recently Stanford
has shown up on Leunen's list. In fact, according to Bokn, Leunen's top four
right now appear to be Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, and Cal.
As the regular season has progressed, he has continued his brilliant play.
Behind Leunen, Redmond has emerged as a top five team in the state (briefly
holding the #1 spot), and currently ranks first in the Intermountain
Conference. In a recent 82-63 home win against IMC foe Summit (OR) HS, he
scored 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from
three-point range. While Bokn continues to best utilize Leunen's height by
having him operate down low, he has allowed him to step out from time to time
to shoot the long-range shot.
According to Bokn, Leunen will need to continue to build strength so that he
can be more effective in finishing plays in the paint. However, his future
will may very well be at small forward in college, as he not only can hit the
open jumper, but also create off of the dribble. Bokn has indicated that the
schools looking at him are recruiting him as such.
After a freshman season where he was deep on the bench, Leunen averaged just
over 12 points and 8 rebounds a game as a sophomore, helping lead Redmond to
the state tournament. There, he led all players in the tourney in rebounding,
averaging 9.7 boards in four games. This year, he's averaging 20 points and
just over 10 rebounds a game thus far as the Panthers look to return to the
state tournament again.
This summer, Leunen plans on playing AAU basketball again with the Portland
Elite Legends, where he is a teammate and good friend of Sam Rayburn, who has
verbally committed to play at Cal. With Ben Braun's luck, he could have two
Legends teammates on his roster in 2004-05.
Leunen is looking to make his official visits when they are allowed in the
Jed Tai is a Senior Writer for Hoopville.com