One thousand and counting: Kyle Leufroy hits points milestone

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Lehigh Senior guard Kyle Leufroy plays during the men’s basketball game against the Muleson Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at Stabler Arena. Leufroy reached the 1000 career point milestone in a season-opener win against Monmouth. (Sarah Epstein/B&W Staff)990.

990.

That’s how many points Kyle Leufroy had at the end of his junior year.

In the season opener against Momounth on Nov. 6, the senior guard finally obtained his goal: the 1,000 point milestone.

So far this season, Lehigh men’s basketball has gone 4-2, with Leufroy contributing 13.8 points per game.

While this milestone was a nice touch on his career, Leufroy noted that team success is more important than individual victories.

“It’s definitely a great accomplishment, but it’s just a nice thing on the way to team success,” Leufroy said.

Leufroy said working hard behind the scenes is the reason for his success, while continuing to push his teammates as hard as he pushes himself to win games. Although he is proud of his personal victories, Leufroy is never complacent and always strives for more.

“Personally, I have high expectations for myself,” he said. “At the end of the day this (milestone) is not the end goal for me. I want to keep pushing to strive for more.”

Associate head coach Antoni Wyche, who works closely with Leufroy to develop his on-court skills, said his hard work and dedication to the sport are the reasons for his scoring accomplishments.

Wyche expressed some disappointment for the senior at the end of last season, as he fell short by only 10 points from hitting 1,000 career points in three seasons.

“It’s something he could’ve achieved last year, which would have been nice,” Wyche said. “But he still has a whole season left, and these numbers just show how much he contributes.”

The only other senior on the Mountain Hawks, Lance Tejada, has nothing but pride for his teammate’s success.

After playing as teammates for the first time in their careers, Tejada looked back at their time working out together in the off-season and mentioned how it helped both seniors grow as players.

“We spent a lot of time together in the gym over the summer and got a lot closer over the last year,” Tejada said. “I’m proud of him. That milestone is something you take with you for the rest of your life.”

Their closeness on and off the court allowed Tejada to feel a personal gain from Leufroy’s success.

“I’ve seen him put in so much work,” Tejada said. “Watching that pay off made me feel like I scored 1,000 points, during that moment.”

When asked about advice he’d give to players coming into the program next year, Leufroy talked about how filling his role allowed him to contribute to the team in the ways they needed him too.

“Coming in as a freshman you can’t expect to have a huge role, but stay patient,” Leufroy said. “It’s important to learn what your role is early and figure out ways to be the best at that role.”

Wyche expressed similar sentiments, looking back to when Leufroy first entered the program. He explained that Tim Kempton, ’16, lead the program when Leufroy arrived, which allowed him to settle into his role and contributed where the team needed.

“Early into his career he was playing with a dominant player (like) Kempton,” Wyche said. “We spent a lot of time working on catch-and-shoot shooting so when Kempton was double-teamed, he could kick it out to (Leufroy) who had a lot of open threes.”

In regard to team goals, Wyche, Tejada and Leufroy all mentioned winning the Patriot League title this season. The last time the Mountain Hawks were in the NCAA tournament was in 2012 led by now NBA guard CJ McCollum, when they took down the heavily favored two-seeded Duke.

A Patriot League title and tournament appearance would finish off a successful career for both Leufroy and Tejada.

“I won a state championship in high school. Fun fact: never got my ring,” Tejada joked. “For our last year, winning a ring and reaching the (NCAA) tournament is definitely our biggest goal.”

Lehigh’s next game is home on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Stabler Arena against Arkansas State. The team looks for its fifth win of the season while Leufroy has the opportunity to build upon his current 13.8 point-per-game average this season.

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