On McLeod Nine: Owls senior holds high accolades
Hunter O. Lyle—Sports Editor
Midway through his fourth and final season as an Owl, senior guard Isaiah McLeod wants to cap of his career by bringing some banners to Moore Field House.
After a successful season last year, in which the Men’s basketball team held a record of 16-12 and reached the second round of the NE-10 tournament, McLeod said he made personal goals to improve and lead the team.
“I kind of had a break-out season my junior year so being a lot more consistent, being a leader, and just being one of the best players in this conference were individual goals I had,” said McLeod. “It’s just baby steps to get there.”
McLeod originally picked up basketball from his father, who in his high school days played with NBA greats such as New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing and also Rumeal Robinson, who played on 11 teams during his career. McLeod said when growing up in his hometown of Cambridge, Mass., the comparisons to his father motivated him to focus on developing and improving his game.
“As a kid, hearing, ‘oh your dad was better than you at this age,’ it kind of put fuel to my fire,” said McLeod, “I always wanted to work more and be better than him.”
Since walking into Moore Field House over three years ago as a recruit, McLeod has been a focal point to the team, averaging 20 points per game and 34 minutes per game his freshman year. He has also been an almost immediate boost to the team, scoring 18 points in his first game as a collegiate athlete.
“I’m glad he stayed, I’m glad he’s progressed. Every year he’s gotten better,” said Head Coach Scott Burrell, who arrived at Southern the same year as McLeod. “It’s amazing how great of a scorer and shooter he is. He could be even more selfish if he wanted to on the offensive end, but he’s such a team player that he fits in perfect with the system and doesn’t try to do too much.”
McLeod currently boasts top five in scoring, top ten in points scored, and top 15 in steals in the NE-10 conference. Along with his conference accolades, McLeod also ranks sixth in most 3 pointers made in Southern athletics history and joined the 1,000-point club last season as the youngest inductee in school history.
Junior forward Taurus Adams II said that McLeod is one of the most important parts of the team offensively. “[McLeod] brings energy. He brings offense,” said Adams. “He can score, go out there every night and give us 30. He can give us a lot.”
After he graduates from Southern with a sociology degree, McLeod said he plans on trying to play basketball professionally for some time, and then returning to his hometown of Boston to serve his community.
“Since I was a kid I’ve always had this plan A and plan B,” said McLeod. “My plan A has always been I want to play overseas professionally. My goal with that is to go visit the world, see a bunch of countries for a couple years, and then I want to go back home and become a police officer.”
While he plans to follow his dream of playing professional basketball across the world, McLeod said that he will strive to come home and be a presence in the Owls locker room when he can.
“Of course [I will miss Southern],” said McLeod. “I’m going to visit. If I do go overseas, I’m going to visit every time I’m home.”