Player Spotlight – Leo Leperrier

Here’s the third spotlight installment of the season as we catch up with EABL players to find out what makes them tick, how they got into basketball, their goals for this season and beyond, and much more.

This week, we head to the North East to chat with Newcastle’s Leo Leperrier.

Name: Leo Leperrier

Position: Wing/Forward

Team: Newcastle Eagles Academy

Tell us a little about yourself:

I have been playing basketball for about six years and I’m half French, originating from Reunion, which is an island in the Indian Ocean that belongs to France.

How and where did you first get into basketball?

I was always tall as a kid and my mum’s friend knew someone that was running a basketball session at the local YMCA. I went and tried it out and started to enjoy it.

Because only two people, including myself, showed up to the sessions they stopped running it which is when I started travelling to Durham to play. I instantly got put into their Jnr. NBL squad aged 12, playing U14 for the Durham Wildcats.

I played with Durham for two years before moving to Newcastle Eagles where I am now.

Can you a remember a moment when you decided basketball was something you wanted to play more seriously? What happened?

When I made the move from Durham to Newcastle. I was 14 and started playing in the Northern Premier League as opposed to the Conference league with Durham.

I saw the talent level and decided I wanted to be able to play comfortably against that kind of opposition and from then on I knew I was serious about playing basketball.

What have been the biggest challenges of your basketball career so far? 

My biggest challenge is that just before COVID first hit, I got offered a scholarship to a Spanish team which I decided to take. I went to practice with the team and got know all the coaches.

Not long after making that decision, COVID came along and the scholarship fell through along with the entire 2020/21 season.

It was hard to stay motivated after that loss as well as during the pandemic itself, to keep playing and not let go of what I want to be as a basketball player.

Who is the toughest player you’ve faced? What made them so difficult to play against?

Scrimmaging against Newcastle Eagles’ BBL forward Darius Defoe was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

His presence in the paint when driving is enough to make you pass the ball out and his timing defensively is almost always perfect.

What are your current goals for the season?

My goals for this season are to come back strong from the pandemic and help bring Newcastle as many wins as possible in the EABL.

Do you have any plans or goals for next season?

My goals for next season are to improve my game further whilst hopefully studying at university and if possible, playing at an even higher level than EABL.

What are you currently working on to take your game to the next level?

Currently, I’m working on my defensive game and how to not only lock players down but to also be a defensive presence off the ball as well.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started in basketball?

My advice would be to stick with it, despite when things go wrong.

Main image credit – Newcastle Eagles Academy

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