Brighton-Pittsford Post
  • Basketball: Leasure's back on familiar ground

  • The former McQuaid shooting guards return to run a shooting and skills camp.

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  • Jack and Ben Leasure got to relieve their high school basketball glory days, at least for three days last week.
    The former McQuaid Jesuit standouts ran the Jack Leasure Shooting and Skills Camp last week at the private school in Brighton. The first annual camp drew 41 players ages 10-18 for three days to work on offensive and defensive skills.
    Jack helped lead the Knights to a state championship in 2003, while Ben started on the team before graduating in 2006. After superb high school careers each player continued their career on the Division I level.
    “It’s a little bittersweet,” Ben said. “You spend so much time in here as a camper and it’s nice to turn the tables and be able to give back to them.”
    The Leasure brothers were life-long attendees of basketball camps and couldn’t wait to start their own. After failing to get the camp off the ground last year they were able to get things going this time around.
    While both were outstanding shooting guards during their time at McQuaid, they wanted to make sure players didn’t just focus on the offensive last week.
    Of course the two left plenty of time to work on player’s jump shot. Campers could even purchase DVD’s with Jack’s critique of how they can improve their jump shot.
    “It’s pretty exciting,” Ben said about running the camp. “We’ve always been really close and played basketball together our whole lives. We’ve always had the same ideals about what’s important in the game.”
    Since they were running their first camp, the brothers decided to get some help from their friends.
    Other camp counselors included former McQuaid standouts Jimmy O’Sullivan and Andrew Struble, who played on the 2003 state championship team. O’Sullivan went on to play at Fairfield University after high school.
    They went outside the McQuaid family and got help from former Pittsford Sutherland standout Phil Valenti. Valenti played college basketball at Hamilton.
    “It’s been great to be back with these guys,” Jack said. “We were all real close in high school. It was a fun time to work with these guys.”
    After graduating from McQuaid Jack had an excellent career with Coastal Carolina of the Big South Conference. He set school and conference records for career three-pointers made (411) and finished second in school history in scoring (1,893 points).
    Ben earned a spot as a walk-on on Canisius in 2006.
    Jack has been on a basketball odyssey since leaving college.
    After graduating from Coastal Carolina he went overseas to play for Kelag Worthersee Piraten of Austria Bundesliga. He had an outstanding season averaging 14 points and over three assists per-game.
    Leasure then played for Taranaki Mountain-Airs on New Zealand National Basketball League in his second professional season. He improved on his numbers from his rookie season averaging 22 points and over four rebounds per game.
    Page 2 of 2 - Leasure played in a league that featured former Syracuse standouts Josh Pace and Eric Devendorf. For him, the transition into the New Zealand league was not difficult.
    “There isn’t too much of a difference between the New Zealand and American game of basketball,” Jack said. “New Zealand is a lot more influenced by the American game than the European. It’s a high level of basketball, with a lot of outstanding players.”

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