By Reily Chestnut
This Saturday inside Strahan Arena, fans will get to watch one of Texas State’s brightest stars attempt to shine one last time. Senior guard, Toshua Leavitt, will try to give Bobcat basketball believers one more three-point clinic. She has done it many times before, Leavitt is the program’s all-time leading three-point shooter. Now that her four years playing inside Strahan are almost over, the crown jewel of Nixa, Missouri, cannot believe how fast it all went by.
“I honestly feel like I’m still a sophomore or junior. It doesn’t feel like it’s been four years already,” Leavitt said during my sit down with her Wednesday afternoon.
Most Bobcat fans cannot believe it either. Leavitt’s career has given observers some incredible moments to see as she solidified her status among the program’s all-time greats. Her career shall be defined by the three-point shooter she had worked to become throughout her journey in basketball.
“I’ve always been a pretty good three-point shooter since about junior-high,” Leavitt said. “I’ve always known that I’ve been talented shooting the ball.”
Leavitt has left scorched wood beyond the arc over the last four years. Her 379 career treys are the best in conference history! Her journey, however, hasn’t been smooth. Leavitt faced challenges like any other star, particularly due to the fire that burns deep within her–the desire she had to become a legend.
“I’ve had a lot of tough moments with controlling my anger,” Leavitt said.
True, Leavitt’s emotional style on the court carried her farther than her size would dictate, but sometimes that passion left her drained when plays were not going the way she desired. The Missouri-missile has earned every right to go out looking to burn her opponents hopes to the ground, even if she sometimes burns herself. But for every inferno there has to be someone that can taper the flames. For Leavitt, that person is head coach Zenarae Antoine.
“Coach Z has always been there for me no matter what,” Leavitt said. “She’s never given up on me and that’s one of the things I’m going to miss most about Coach Z because I know how much she actually cares about me.”
No matter how high the flames burned the long time program head has never run away from the challenge of demanding excellence out of her star guard. Maybe that’s due to all that Leavitt has proven or defied over her career. But, it’s probably because Antoine saw that greatness in Leavitt all the way back at Nixa high school not only due to her basketball ability but also for how Leavitt could make an impact off the court.
There are a lot of things Leavitt told me she’d miss. She said that the camaraderie of playing alongside her teammates on last year’s 23-win squad will be something she never forgets to enjoy. Even as Leavitt’s days at Texas State draw to a close, don’t expect her to stop this torrid love affair with her true love.
“I want to pursue overseas and continue to play basketball if that’s an option for me,” Leavitt said.
But for the time being, all Leavitt cares about is helping her team knock down UTA this Saturday so Leavitt can finish her time with another highlight reel win. The challenge will be stiff as the Mavs walk into San Marcos on top of the league at 14-3 in SBC action.
For the fiery shooter who’s spent her entire life fighting doubters and making her shot known…this chance to lead her band of underdogs would certainly fit the narrative of Toshua Leavitt as Bobcat nation gets one last look at one of the strongest fighters this program has ever seen.
Featured image courtesy of Texas State Athletics.