March 20, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Junior guard Steve Leven is foregoing his senior year at the University of Wyoming to pursue a professional basketball career in his home country of Australia, Head Coach Steve McClain announced Monday.
The native of Airds, New South Wales, Australia, came to Wyoming during the 2003-04 season, and sat out of competition to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He played in 52 games--41 as a starter--for the Cowboys during his two seasons, averaging 8.5 points as a sophomore, and 11.7 points this past year as a junior. He averaged 10.4 points per game for his UW career.
"I have loved my time at Wyoming, but this decision has been made so I can help my family financially. It is sad for me to be leaving, but it is the best thing for me and my family. I wish the best for my teammates, and the Wyoming program in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the great people of Wyoming, and here in the athletics department, for all of their help."
Leven started 29 of Wyoming's 32 games this past season, averaging almost 27 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 20 times during the season. His best scoring game this year came against San Diego State in Laramie, when he poured in 25. He scored 20 or more points four times during the season including 20 during the Cowboys' defeat of the Air Force Academy in the opening round of the 2006 Mountain West Conference Tournament.
"Like all of us, our student-athletes have to make some tough decisions, especially when finances are involved." McClain said. "We wish Steve could have stayed, but we certainly understand that when it comes to family, priorities change. It's unfortunate for Steve, but we wish him the very best."
With Leven's departure, the Cowboys will have three scholarships remaining to be filled. McClain and his staff signed two student-athletes to letters of intent during the early-signing period, Eric Platt, a 6-5, 215-pound shooting guard from Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, and Aaron Henson, a 6-5, 205-pound shooting guard/small forward from Santiago High School in Corona, Calif.