Heading into last weekend, Garrett Leffelman '11 was averaging 4.9 points per game. But in the Bears' Friday night game against Dartmouth, he scored the team's first 14 points.
The next night against Harvard, he had a career-high 16 points.
For his performances — and not because it's his birthday today — The Herald has named Leffelman Athlete of the Week.
Herald: When you scored the first 14 points of the game against Dartmouth, did you have a count in your head of how many you had?
Leffelman: It wasn't until the time out in the game happened and we came back to the huddle and I looked up at the scoreboard and I saw it was 14-8, and I saw 14 next to my number, and I was like, ‘Wow, what just happened?'
What are you studying at Brown?
I'm double-concentrating in economics and political science.
Which way do you lean on the political spectrum?
I'll probably get grilled considering the readership of the BDH. I consider myself a moderate conservative.
How do you like being a conservative on Brown's campus?
I think it's the best of both worlds because we need more bipartisanship and we need to work with both sides. And I think that part of my education is learning from my classmates, and those classmates having different views — sometimes wildly different than my views — helps me understand where they're coming from and helps me understand how compromises could work. Like I said, I'm not far right-wing, so it's not like a hatred thing.
Do you ever get in any heated political conversations in class?
To be honest, I don't want to stick my neck out there too far. I would say that I've had more — we have good political debates within our team in a more, I guess, unprofessional environment, just talking to each other. I find that those are a lot more rewarding than just arguing back and forth across a classroom.
That's a whole different kind of locker room talk.
That's one thing that we enjoy most on the basketball team. We have so many different guys with different views — guys way to the left of me, a few guys to the right of me. And so, just learning from everybody, I find really interesting.
Where are you from?
What high school did you go to?
St. Josephs High School in Westchester(, Ill.) I commuted about three hours round-trip every day to go to St. Joe's, and I don't live anywhere near it.
Why did you decide to go there if it was so far from home?
It's a national basketball powerhouse. I knew I would be playing with great people.
Who were the best players on your team?
Evan Turner at Ohio State, Demetri McCamey at Illinois, Jonathan Peoples at Notre Dame, Tony Freeman at Iowa.
Do you still stay in touch with any of your high school teammates?
Evan's my best friend, so every time I come home and he's home, we always hang out.
Do you ever beat him in one-on-one?
I can remember the very first time I did. It was before school. We used to come in and shoot and play before school, and I hit a fade-away three from the corner, and he was so mad because I had finally beaten him. But after that, you know, I beat him every once in a while — I'd say maybe 25 percent of the time.
Is it fun to get to watch him on national TV sometimes?
Yeah, it's great. If I could see every game, I would.
Does he stay up on what you're doing here?
Yeah, he does. Every once in a while, I'll get a late-night text saying, "Hey, I saw you guys on (ESPN's) BottomLine tonight. How did you play tonight?" Or, "I looked up your stats, keep playing well." It's really nice because he's obviously a bigger star than anybody could ever be at Brown and certainly than myself. So it's cool to know that my best friend — even though he's risen that high — he still looks back and is seeing how I do.
Did you get a text from him after this weekend?
I did, actually.
What did it say?
He was just saying, this is your best weekend of the season, keep it up. And I was like, I'm glad somebody noticed.
Evan is getting some talk as a potential Player of the Year this season. When he goes to the NBA, do you think he's going to hook you up with any cool gifts?
I would hope so, yeah. I would almost expect it at this point. You know what, the perks that come with the NBA, he definitely deserves, and I wouldn't expect anything from him. But you know, if he could hook me up with some tickets from time to time, that would be good.