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Posted On: 05/11/18 5:00 AM
The two teams that 6’5” wing/forward Leon Hughes (2019) plays for have a couple things in common. Primarily, both All Ohio Gold and Whitmer High School have multiple score-first players. Therefore, they both need flexible players who are selfless and athletic enough to make winning plays — a glue guy. Hughes is that player for both.
Even when asked about his “true position,” Hughes told us, “I really don’t know. I just love playing basketball for real.”
“Our coach told us if we have a mismatch, exploit it. And do whatever you can to help the team,” Hughes continued.
His calling card is as a versatile two-way player who is willing to dive on the floor for a loose ball. As a scorer though, Hughes is able to finish at the rim with his back to the basket or on drives. He’s elusive in the painted area and uses his length and hang-time to finish through traffic.
Furthermore, Hughes is an impact defensive player and quality locker room guy.
“I like to communicate. I like to play defense a lot … I’m kind of the goofy guy that everyone looks to for a laugh. I like making people laugh a lot,” Hughes said.
Surprisingly, Hughes’s strong spring and combination of skills hasn’t translated to college recruitment yet. He’d like to improve as a ball-handler and shooter, but it also just seems like a matter of time until in-state schools reach out to Hughes.
Even if his recruitment doesn’t take off in the grassroots season, Whitmer has a chance to be the top Division I high school team in Toledo next season. They return their entire starting lineup and the expectations are there.
“We actually just talked about it about ten to twenty minutes ago. Coach [Ryan] Brown brought us into the office and told us we’re going to go as far as we can take us. So, we got to start putting in the work now,” Hughes said.
As mentioned, they have pretty much their entire team back next season. Therefore, Hughes doesn’t expect his role to change much besides a little bit more time with the ball in his hands.
As a student, Hughes has between a 3.3-3.4 GPA and scored a 21 on his first ACT attempt.