Manhattan’s Eleanor Roosevelt High School point guard Elissa Leung will be attending Division-3 Baruch College on a full academic ride to study mathematics and play for the Bearcats Women’s Basketball team, ML Gators and Brooklyn High School for Law and Tech girl’s basketball head coach Michael Lloyd Tweeted yesterday.
Leung, who resides in Brooklyn, considered other schools but weighed the financial options all the colleges had to offer, as well as the quality of its academics. Additionally, she said, she didn’t want her competitive basketball playing days come to an abrupt end due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, so hitting the court again was always on her mind.
Fortunately for Leung, she’ll get to suit up for a Baruch College program that posted a 14-11 overall mark and went 8-6 in City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) action in 2019-20.
“(Playing basketball) was definitely a factor in one of my reasons where I would go,” Leung said. “I think it came down to financial and the package they were offering. But I don’t think I would not want to play basketball. Because of what’s going on at the moment I didn’t get the chance to finish out my career. Now, I can keep playing; I’m excited.”
A self-described shy, academic first student, Leung prides herself on her ability to turn on the intensity once she hits the hardwood, using her physical and mental fortitude to surmount her diminutive stature.
“First thoughts when I saw her play was that she’s tough,” said Lloyd, who coached her for two-plus years when she was a part of the ML Gators travel team. “The kid is fearless and has the heart of a lion. I watched her play against good competition and (she) never backed down and seen her play in Conrad McRae on Dean Street in the boys’ league with the Rockits. No matter where she played, her game never changed.”
That type of grit helped the scrappy 4-foot-11 Leung drain a team-high 21.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game this past season, and helped gradually transform the Lady Huskies from a struggling program to PSAL Class B contenders. Interestingly enough, they lost in the semifinals to Lloyd’s Lady Jets last year.
“The team was 2-10 when I got there,” the Bensonhurst native recalled. “But we were undefeated during the regular season for two straight seasons.”
Bearcat head coach Michael Kotrozos said Leung is the kind of player who can do it all at the ever-vital point guard position while being a tremendous human being, making her a great fit for his program.
“Elissa is a multi-faceted point guard who can handle the ball, shoot the three, and hit the open girl,” Kortrozos explained. “She’s a tenacious defender and a fierce competitor that I love to see. She fits the way we like to play with good guard play and pushing the tempo. More importantly, she’s a phenomenal person and great academically. She really checked all my boxes.”
Baruch College Women’s Basketball is scheduled to tipoff the 2020-21 campaign against the visiting Farmingdale College Rams on Monday, November 9th.
— Jerry Del Priore