It doesn't get much better than playing Division I college basketball AND getting an Ivy League education. That's exactly what Mike LeBlanc (Dover, NH) will be doing. The 6-foot-6 sharpshooting wing has committed to Princeton University, becoming the Tigers' latest recruit from the Class of 2014.
"I had offers from Rice, Yale, Brown, Vermont, UNH, Binghamton, and Princeton" LeBlanc told the NH Notebook. "From the first couple times I visited, Princeton felt like a place that I could fit in well. The coaches followed me very closely for two years which allowed me to build a relationship with them, and I feel I will fit in well with their style of play. Finally the academic opportunity at Princeton is unmatched."
LeBlanc transferred from Dover High to New Hampton prior to his senior year, reclassifying to the Class of 2014. Last season at New Hampton he played alongside McDonald's All-American Noah Vonleh (a freshman at Indiana this winter). He has played for the Rhode Island Hawks and the Rivals Basketball Club respectively over the past 2 years on the AAU circuit.
"By going to New Hampton and playing at such a high level of AAU I was able to play against the best competition around and learn the game from some of the best coaches and best players in the country" LeBlanc commented. "This combined with the high level tournaments gave me the chance to be exposed to all levels of college recruiting."
LeBlanc is versatile player who can not only stretch the floor by hitting outside shots, bu he has also developed the ability to make plays off the dribble as well as finish inside, rebound and defend.
Over the past couple years my game has expanded in a number of ways. Before I was a skinny spot up shooter but I've been able to develop into a player who can impact the game in more ways than just shooting. By getting bigger and more athletic I can cover multiple positions and get by to the hoop to open up my shooting game.
Princeton is an Ivy League power in basketball, as the Tigers have won 26 conference championships. They have had 25 players selected in the NBA draft and are currently the #22 ranked college basketball team in the country.
"My success on the court and in the classroom is largely due to my father, who always pushed me further even when I didn't believe I could" LeBlanc concluded. "And also my coaches, teachers and teammates who gave me the opportunity to showcase what I do well and the drive to improve what I'm weak at."