Brad Leaf
Personal information
Born (1960-05-17) May 17, 1960 (age 61)
Indianapolis, Indiana
NationalityAmerican / Israeli
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Career information
High school
CollegeEvansville (1978–1982)
NBA draft1982 / Round: 7 / Pick: 146th overall
Selected by the Indiana Pacers
Playing career1982–1998
PositionShooting guard
Coaching career2001–present
Career history
As player:
1982La Crosse Catbirds
1982–1995Hapoel Galil Elyon
1995–1998Maccabi Tel Aviv
As coach:
2001–2005Steele Canyon HS
2005–presentFoothills Christian HS
Career highlights and awards

Brad Leaf (Hebrew: ברד ליף‎; born May 17, 1960) is an American-Israeli basketball coach and former player. He played 17 years of professional basketball in Israel, first for Hapoel Galil Elyon and later for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israel Premier League and Euroleague.[1] He won the Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP award in 1989-90. He played college basketball for the Evansville Purple Aces from 1979 to 1982, and was the school's first All-American in NCAA Division I.

Early and personal life

Leaf was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.[2][3] He and his wife Karen became Israeli citizens.[4] He said: "For about 20 years, I considered [Israel] home. I loved it there. They are great people."[5] He and his wife have a daughter, Talia, and three sons, one of whom is NBA player T. J. Leaf, a power forward for the Indiana Pacers.[6] His son Troy Leaf was Pacific West Conference 2015 Basketball Player of the Year.[5] The family moved to the San Diego, California, area in 1999.[5]

High school career

A 6-5 shooting guard, Leaf played high school basketball first at North Central High School.[3][6] He transferred to Lawrence North High School during his junior year in high school.[3] Leaf led all Marion County, Indiana, scorers as a senior at Lawrence North in 1978 with a 25.5-point average, with a single-game high of 38 points.[3][7] Ben Davis High School's Randy Wittman was second.[3]

College career

Leaf took a scholarship to the University of Evansville, playing for the Evansville Purple Aces from 1979 to 1982, and a co-captain in his last year.[3][2][8] As a sophomore, he averaged 16.2 points per game and set the then-Evansville season free throw percentage record at 81.1 percent.[9] In 1981-82, he scored 17.6 points per game (for the second consecutive year), leading the school to a 19-9 record and its first NCAA Division I tournament.[10][11][8] He was the school's first All-American in NCAA Division I, named to the Sporting News Special Mention team in 1980-81 and Honorable Mention team in 1982, and earned three All-America honorable mention awards in 1982.[12][10] He was also a three-time First Team All-Midwestern City Conference Player (in 1980, 1981, and 1982), and MVP of the 1982 Midwestern City Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.[12] He was 5th in school history in field goals (621), 6th in field goal percentage (52.2%), 7th in points (1,605), and 9th in free throws (363).[12]

Professional career

He was then a seventh-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers in 1982.[3] Leaf briefly played for the La Crosse Catbirds of the Continental Basketball Association before embarking on a professional career in Israel.[5]

Leaf had a 17-season professional career in Israel. He played for 12 years for Hapoel Galil Elyon, alongside such players as Nadav Henefeld, Doron Sheffer, Andrew Kennedy, and Mike Gibson, and later for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israel Premier League and Euroleague.[13][3][14] He won the Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP award in 1989-90.[14] In both 1989-90 and 1991-92 he was voted a member of the Israeli Basketball Premier League Quintet, an award given to the five best players of each season of the Israeli Basketball Premier League. Leaf said: "I went for a year, and a year, and another year, then got married and had kids. My career was going pretty good. The people were fantastic. They were like family. So I kept staying."[6]

Coaching career

After his playing career, Leaf began his coaching career in 2001-02 at Steele Canyon High School in San Diego, California. He coached them to a 30-2 record in 2004, and CIF San Diego Section boys basketball titles in 2004 and 2005. Beginning in the 2005-06 season, Leaf has coached at Foothills Christian High School in El Cajon, California, leading the team to seven titles through 2020. He had 380 total wins between the two schools through December 2019.[15][16][17][4][18][19] In 2016 he was named CIF Coach of the Year.[20] He coached his son T. J. at Foothills Christian in high school, with T.J. as a senior in 2015-16 averaging 28.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 3.2 steals per game.[3][2] He also runs a construction company.[6][21]

Honors

In 1988, Leaf was inducted into the University of Evansville Purple Aces Hall of Fame.[12] The school retired his jersey, # 15, in 2018.[11]

References

  1. ^ "ISRAEL BASKETBALL SUPER LEAGUE | 1997-98 Season | Maccabi Tel-Aviv | Brad Leaf". basket.co.il. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Jordan Littman (September 6, 2013). "Q & A: Brad Leaf discusses his son's visit to Indiana".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Leaf Happy to be "Home" in Indiana". Indiana Pacers. June 23, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Whicker, Mark (February 7, 2017). "Whicker: UCLA's TJ Leaf doesn't fall far from the tree". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Engelhardt, Gordon (September 25, 2017). "Engelhardt: Pacers' T.J. Leaf learned 'Hoosier Hysteria' from UE great dad". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Marks, Jon (March 18, 2018). "Meet the NBA's Israeli-born rookie, a 6' 10" forward named T.J. Leaf; While the 21-year-old still warms bench before becoming a regular starter for the Indiana Pacers, he dreams about one day repping for Team Israel in the Olympics". Times of Israel. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Neddenriep, Kyle (April 8, 2020). "Build-A-Team: Putting together the best Lawrence North basketball team". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Alexander Wolff (November 30, 1981). "THE BEST OF THE REST; Leading candidates for the NCAA field are the Top 20 and these 28". Sports Illustrated Vault. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  9. ^ Knight, David (January 30, 1982). "Gambling Aces to face Butler; await DePaul". The Indianapolis Star. p. 23. Retrieved October 25, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b "2017-2018 Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). Evansville Purple Aces. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "UE Aces Men's Basketball; Jersey Retirement". www.uealumnionline.com. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d "Brad Leaf; Inducted 1988; Men's Basketball". Purple Aces Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  13. ^ "Euroleague Qualifying Rounds team profile: Hapoel Galil Gilboa". EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL. August 24, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Israel-born T.J. Leaf drafted by NBA's Pacers in first round; UCLA power forward, whose father played 17 years for Maccabi Tel Aviv and Galil, picked 18th by Indiana, becoming third Israeli to join league". Times of Israel. June 23, 2017.
  15. ^ John Maffei (December 23, 2019). "500-win basketball coaches point toward next milestone". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  16. ^ Bodie De Silva (July 13, 2020). "Which San Diego Section boys basketball coaches have won the most section titles?". Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Ray Simmons (April 13, 2005). "USI men's basketball signs a pair from California". USI Screaming Eagles | Men's Basketball.
  18. ^ Rich Nye (June 23, 2017). "Pacers draft pick Leaf right at home in Indiana". wthr.com. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  19. ^ Steve Brand (March 1, 2019). "No time to dwell on the past for Foothills Christian coach Brad Leaf". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "2016 WINTER ALL-CIF TEAMS ANNOUNCED". SDHOC Sports. April 7, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  21. ^ "TJ Leaf: 2017 Draft Prospect". Indiana Pacers. Retrieved October 25, 2020.