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Posted On: 11/21/18 11:44 PM
Sacred Heart 2019 guard Trace Leners has rebounded from suffering not one, but two broken arms during last year’s football season and is gearing up for a big senior season.
He recovered in time to run this past summer for WCS Team Driven and has since put together a strong football season this fall for the Gremlins.
And while he says the injuries set his outside shooting back for a while, he has put in a lot of work in the gym to get his shooting stroke back.
“Coming off two broken arms last year during football messed with my shot little,” he says. “I feel much better going into this basketball season. Another aspect of my game I worked hard in this summer was my strength. I dedicated a lot of time this summer in the weight room getting stronger and more physical.”
At 6’1, Leners is a strong, athletic guard who also excels on the football field. On the hardwood, he is all hustle, willing to do the dirty work, whether its get loose balls, offensive rebounds or dive on the floor for an extra possession.
“I have always prided myself in being a great defender,” he says. “On the offensive side, I do majority of my damage driving and shooting, or finding the open man for a jumper. There’s no doubt I like to put point in the board but I also enjoy giving out assists to my teammates.”
Leners says he enjoyed competing alongside several of the top players from the Salina area this past summer fro WCS Team Driven and says the experience helped prepare him for the upcoming season.
“Getting together with my summer team is always a good time,” Leners said. “We have played with each other since third grade, and very few play on the same high school team. We always look forward to playing with each other every summer. My summer team helped me prepare for the upcoming season by keeping a ball in my hand over the summer, and improving my jumper and overall offensive threat.
“Playing in bigger tournaments with better competition will only make you better, and that’s exactly what we did.”
Sacred Heart has put together quite a run in the Class 2A state tournament, finishing second, first and third during Leners’ career.
“We have pretty high expectations for our season,” he says. “We got a new coach this year, and we are really excited to get the season underway with coach Gormley. We lost some key players from last year’s team, but we will have some younger players step up and play some meaningful minutes on varsity.”
Leners says his mom has had the biggest impact on his athletic career to date.
“She played in college, and put in ball in my hands at a young age,” Leners said. “She coached me when I was younger, and I really enjoyed learning the game from her. She has always instilled in me a hard working mentality, and really shaped me into the player I am today.”
Leners says he models his game after the Warriors’ Draymond Green, and tries to bring the same hard work attitude to the floor for Sacred Heart.
“In my opinion, Draymond is the key piece to all of the Warriors success,” Leners said. “He goes after offensive rebounds, plays hardnose defense, and in general, he does the dirty work! He doesn’t always get the recognition his deserves, but he fills up the stat sheet. Similar to Draymond, I’m not always the biggest on the floor, but we both make up for that in how hard we play.”