Former Granger continues basketball journey
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
He thought it was over.
For almost two years, former LaGrange Granger Don Leak was unable to play basketball as he dealt with a series of injuries.
After suffering a broken leg that caused him to miss the 2015-2016 season, Leak figured his days as a competitive basketball play could be finished.
“At one point when I broke my leg, I said I was done with basketball,” Leak said. “I didn’t think I’d play again.”
Fortunately for Leak, that assessment was off the mark.
The 6-foot-7 Leak returned for the 2016-2017 season and played in 25 games at Rogers State, an NCAA Division II school in Oklahoma, and he was on the court for 29 games last season with 15 starts.
Now, Leak is getting ready to take his game to the next level. Leak is heading to Armenia, a European country that neighbors Turkey, Georgia, Azerjaijan and Iran, to play professional basketball.
“It’ll be my first time out of the country,” Leak said. “My passport just came in last week. I’m ready.”
Leak will be one of four Americans who’ll play for the Aragats, who’ll begin their season this fall.
Leak signed with a placement agency following his final college game last season, and he eventually received an offer to go overseas.
“They sent my stuff to different teams,” Leak said. “And the team contacted them, and they said they wanted to sign me.”
Leak will be leaving on Sept. 13 for the flight that’ll take more than 20 hours, and he’ll make the trip with one of his new teammates.
“They’re sending someone from Columbus State there, too,” Leak said. “So we’re going to be on the same plane. So at least I’ll have somebody else (from home).”
After a successful prep career at LaGrange High, Leak played his freshman season at Cowley Community College in Kansas.
Leak ended up missing the next two seasons because of various injuries, including the broken leg.
For the past two seasons, though, Leak has played injury-free.
Leak had one more season of eligibility remaining, but he decided to move on.
“I had one more year of college, if I wanted it,” Leak said. “But I decided just to continue on.”
Leak is hopeful the experience in Armenia will lead to another opportunity.
“The season is six months,” Leak said. “Once I finish that season, I want to move on to something bigger and better. Hopefully this’ll open the door for more things.”