Leunen's Decision Process

Maarty Leunen has begun his summer, participating in a variety of camps across the nation and is now looking to figure out where he'll go to college.

He sounds as happy to talk to you, as you are to get a chance to interview him. And while this type of notoriety can wear on any 17 year-old basketball prospect, Maarty Leunen has gotten used to it, and even welcomes it - a little.

"At points (the attention) can get tough, but you only get this once in your life," Leunen said. "It's not bad having articles written about you and coaches wanting you to go to their schools."

Leunen, a power forward out of Redmond High School in Redmond, Oregon, has been turning the heads of numerous coaches over the past couple of years. Now, like many of his counterparts across the nation, is in the middle of a busy summer, bouncing from camp to camp.

"I am having a fun time this summer learning a lot at all of the camps. I attended the NBA Camp in Richmond, Virginia, and the developmental camp in Colorado Springs," Leunen commented. "Later on I'll be going to the Nike Camp, Adidas Big Time, the Vegas Summer Classic and I'm on a team that's set for a play-in game for the Peach Jam in Georgia."

This learning process has involved a great deal of work on the perimeter. Such skills will be valuable when Leunen makes the jump to collegiate ball.

"I'm being recruited to play the 3 or 4 (position)," Leunen said. "But in high school I've always played the post, so I'm working on some perimeter fundamentals for ball handling, passing, and shooting. Facing the basket is a totally different game."

Leunen's decision about college is long from being finalized, as he has "narrowed" his list down to eight schools: Oregon, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Cal, Arizona, Duke, Kansas and UCLA.

"It is tough to decide and right now I have no idea where I'll be going," Leunen said. "After the summer camps I'll have a better understanding of what these schools will be looking for me to do and then I'll cut down that list again."

The process has been and will undoubtedly be well thought out by himself as well as those who are closest to him. But a few requirements must be met by these or any other institutions if they plan on landing this prospect.

"I'm looking for a school where I can get a good education. That's something that is always good to be able to fall back on. I also would like a friendly coaching staff and players because if I'm going to be spending a lot of time over four years with these guys then it might as well be fun."

Leunen has not taken any official visits, but is planning to make four trips in September. From there, he'll wait until November to make a final decision.

"I want to decide where I'll be playing basketball in college before my season begins this year," Leunen said. "That way I'll be able to relax and have fun playing with my teammates, and won't have to worry about performing in front of a lot of coaches."

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