Posted On: 03/27/20 5:42 PM
As the saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Matthew LevisMatthewLevis5'11" | CGJesuit | 2020StateOR would certainly attest to that adage. From day one the tough 6-foot combo guard from Jesuit had his eyes on going to college at Seattle University with the hopes of playing hoops there as well. It took some time for the second part of that to come to fruition but it’s now a done deal as Levis will be joining the Redhawks basketball program in 2020-21.
“I’d been talking to them for awhile and to be quite honest, they would respond with some emails and texts and had invited me to a few camps but it didn’t seem as they were that interested,” Levis said. “They said that they already had their recruits for that class and their walk-ons were already filled.”
“But I decided to give it one last go and I emailed the head coach,” Levis said. “He decided to set a phone call with me and he saw some of the accolades that I had received like Metro League player of the year and he decided to give me a chance and gave me another walk-on spot.”
The opportunity to join the Redhawks as a preferred walk-on was music to Levis’ ears and he jumped right on the opportunity. Why did he hone in on Seattle University from the beginning? “I like the area – it’s not that far from home and it’s only three hours so I’ve always got a way to get home,” Levis said. “The area is good for schooling and even after basketball, because it’s in a very business-heavy area I’ll be able to go and get a really good job hopefully. And I just like playing in Seattle. Growing up, I’ve played in countless tournaments in the Seattle area and I know the area basketball-wise pretty well.”
With the basketball program, it certainly didn’t hurt that former Crusader teammate Joe Wall is currently on the team. “I’ve texted him and joked that I’ll be playing with him again and he thought that was pretty funny,” Levis said. “He will be a good resource for me.”
An outstanding individual defender, Levis will bring a no-nonsense, hard-working attitude as a practice player to Seattle. In time, it wouldn’t be surprising to see his hard work pay off into some minutes. This past year at Jesuit, he averaged 10.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals but it was his leadership and ability to really defend that earned him Metro League MVP honors. He reflected back on his senior year.
“As a team, I thought that we accomplished about as much as we could,” Levis said. “We were unofficially first in state, first in Metro (League) and almost went undefeated, and we had a hell of a season. And personally for me, I felt that this year was weird because the first couple of games I didn’t know what role I needed to take. I knew I was going to have to lead the team but I kind of figured out it wasn’t going to be me scoring everything, me doing everything and that it was really reminiscent of the team we had last year.”
“So I took on more of just an everything role,” Levis continued. “I stepped up on defense as usual, but I would take on some scoring in some games. If other guys had the hot hand, I understood so I’d feed them the ball and get them open shots. I felt like I had a really good overall season and I felt that I refined a lot of the skills that I needed to in order to play at the college level.”
Levis currently ranks as the #27 player in the PrepHoops Oregon Class of 2020 rankings.