Girls Basketball: Former GBS star Dana Leonard to coach North Shore
Updated: June 18, 2012 7:40PM
Former Glenbrook South state champion and 2001 Northwestern captain Dana Leonard is the new girls head basketball coach at North Shore Country Day.
“I am really excited to be part of the NSCDS family and am looking forward to bringing some passion, energy, and success into the girls program similar to what Rashid (Smith) has done with the boys program (fourth at 1A state tournament).”
A three-time all-state point guard, Parade All-American, and 1997 USA Today national Top-25 player, Leonard may be best remembered for hitting the winning three-pointer in the 1994 state championship game.
She was elected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame this past winter.
“As great a player as she was, when we honored her at school for being elected to the Hall of Fame, I spoke of Dana, the coach,” said now-retired Glenbrook South coach Howard Romanek. “I first saw her coach when I worked at Northwestern’s summer camp. She was just a natural and got the girls really excited about playing the game.
“The biggest thing with Dana is her work ethic and love of the game — it’s infectious. I’ve run into players she coached at camps and they were raving about her. She’s a great role model.”
Northwestern women’s coach Joe McKeown also is a big believer in her coaching ability.
“She will be a terrific high school coach,” he said. “She is a great teacher of the game. I’ve spent a lot of time with her and was so impressed with how committed she is to teaching.”
Leonard’s coaching experience includes a year as director of girls basketball at Joy Of The Game, in Deerfield, and several years running basketball camps and clinics throughout the Chicago area. She also served as an assistant to legendary Fenwick coach Dave Power.
“I had the privilege of coaching her on a national championship AAU team (1994) and then having her on my staff here at Fenwick. She did a great job during a time when we were competing against Candace Parker and other top players. She has the perfect personality and disposition to coach at all levels — and she could coach either the boys or girls team and be successful,” he said. “She knows the fundamentals inside out. ... The girls will follow her lead and look forward to playing for her. She makes it fun — she is very skilled at that. That’s a great get; a perfect marriage. She’ll take those girls to the next level.”