The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

February 23, 2013

Leonard owns record as first 3-point shooter

MORGANTOWN — Chris Leonard came out of Purcellville, Va., in 1989 with a scholarship to West Virginia University as its first accomplished three-point shooter in men’s basketball.

“That was my thing,” the 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard said this week from Fairfax, Va., where he’s employed by that huge, wealthy county. Gale Catlett was his coach through 1992.

Leonard was strictly the long-range gunner on teams that posted records of 26-5, 16-12, 17-14 and 26-12.

Leonard completed his four-year career with an even 200 three-point goals and a total of 1,255 points. His remarkable percentage accuracy average is a school-record .417.

He played in 107 games, including 59 starts, and averaged 21.1 minutes per outing. He made 404 field goals in 875 attempts (46.2 percent), and 86 of 102 free throws (82.8 percent).

Ironically, Leonard also had an even 200 rebounds to equal his three-point shots made. He ranks No. 5 among all players in total three-pointers made.

“I spent hours upon hours of shooting practice from behind the line,” Leonard said. “It was tedious work out there and not really fun.”

But he recommends to youngsters to really work at it if they want to be successful at three-point shooting.

Catlett waxed all he could get out of Leonard.

“The three-point shot really brought a lot of players into the mix in regards to strategies for college,” Leonard told WVU’s John Antonik for his excellent story last year on the 25th anniversary of the three-point shot.

“They were still trying to figure out how to utilize it (when he was playing). But it was this weapon now that you got the extra point if you shot if from behind that line and colleges were trying to scramble to get as many kids as they could who could do that.”

Leonard said it’s no fun playing 1-on-1 or 3-on-3 in basketball practice. “I came to (WVU) campus with the ability to shoot the threes,” he emphasized. “But the coaches really helped me.”

Leonard, a graduate of Loudon Valley High School, played in one NIT and three NCAA tournaments as a Mountaineer. “I really enjoyed very much my years at West  Virginia,” he said. “I left with so many fond memories.

He got a bachelor’s degree in sport management and a master’s in public administration. “These have helped me tremendously in my chosen career,” said Leonard. He has a well-paying job as the director of the department of neighborhoods and community services for Fairfax County, Va.

Leonard’s wife Stacie also has two degrees from WVU. She is teaching chemistry in area high schools.

The Leonards have three daughters: Megan, 15; Ashley, 13; and Abby, 10. All three already are playing basketball.

“I couldn’t be happier that they’re athletes,” Chris said.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Can summit of bigwigs really solve college athletics issues?

    I see where the Big 12 Conference is going to host in New York City what will be titled “A State of College Athletics Forum.”

    July 22, 2014

Saints Training Camp