By Joe Skinner
*Update (11/17/2015): Broad Run High School senior Mariah Leonard has officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Drexel University.
Ashburn (July 17, 2015) — Broad Run rising senior Mariah Leonard — coming off of an impressive 2014-2015 campaign with the Spartans — has made a verbal commitment to continue her basketball career in Philadelphia, Pa. at Drexel University.
“[Drexel] is a great university. They have been following me the past few years. It felt right to mend I could see myself there as a student and a player,” the 5-foot-11 Leonard said. “I have always loved basketball, [and]my goal has always been to continually improve my game.”
Leonard attributes her continued commitment to the sport towards her family, also adding that her family helps keep her motivated to continue to excel.
“My uncle and grandparents have taken me and my cousins to the gym since we were little and I grew up loving sports, especially basketball,” Leonard said. “My mom and grandmother coached my first basketball team when I was in third grade. It’s kind of a family tradition!”
In 2014, Leonard directed her Spartans to the No. 3 seed in the Conference 14 tournament, only to be upset in the first round by Potomac Falls. Individually, Leonard earned All-LoCo Player of the Year, All-LoCo first team and the Conference 14 Player of the Year awards.
“It feels great [to be committed]. My plan was always to make a choice in schools and commit before my senior year started,” Leonard said.
Going into her senior season, Leonard and her teammates look to improve on the disappointing end of the 2015 season.
“Our goal is to win the conference and advance to regions and states,” Leonard said. “That would be a great way to end our high school basketball career for the seniors.”
The Division I Drexel Dragons are coming off of a 20 win, 11 loss season, and are coached by Denise Dillon. Dillon will be entering her 16th year at the top of the Dragon program when Leonard arrives in the fall of 2016. Dillon is also the winningest coach in the program’s history.
“[Drexel] finished second in the conference regular season play last season,” Leonard said. “I think my love of the game, work ethic and aggressive basketball play will fit in well with the team chemistry.”
Joe Skinner is a rising junior at Freedom High School in South Riding. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.