Leonard’s new title: Hall of Famer

SHARE Leonard’s new title: Hall of Famer

Former Chicago Sun-Times sports writer Elliott Harris interviewed Dana Leonard before the former Glenbrook South and Northwestern guard left the area early last year to pursue a career in Hollywood.

Is one shot in a basketball career worthy of induction into a Hall of Fame? Probably not, but the biggest shot in Dana Leonard’s life is still remembered 18 years later.

Leonard (pictured, right) made the game-winning three-pointer with seven seconds remaining to give Glenbrook South (32-3) a 67-62 victory in the 1994 Class AA state championship game against Marshall (28-4). GBS senior Sara Petersen finished the game’s scoring with two free throws.

The team, coach by Howard Romanek, was inducted into the Illinois Baskeball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009. But after several years of trying, Romanek’s nomination of Leonard into the Hall of Fame’s player category was accepted last year. Leonard will become the first GBS girls player to be inducted in the IBCA’s Hall of Fame April 28 in a ceremony at Illinois State University in Normal. At halftime of the Niles West at GBS game Feb. 10, Leonard will be recognized in a brief ceremony.

Other notables being inducted include coaches Mike Bailey (St. Patrick boys) and Andy Nussbaum (Naperville Central girls), Joe Majkowski (St. Viator) and Bill Wando (Hoffman Estates), ex-players Tim Hardaway (NBA, Carver), Bryan Mullins (Downers South) and official Steve Scholten of Elk Grove Village. Glenbrook North’s 2005 boys squad will be inducted as a team. In the media category, Daily Herald sports writer Marty Maciaszek will be inducted. In the Friends of basketball category, Downers South P.A. announcer John Mizener is in.

Leonard played at Glenbrook South from 1993-97. According to Romanek, among her school records are:

• Career scoring leader: 2,461 points

• Most points in a single season: 794

• Career three-point shots made: 271

• Most three-point shots in a single season: 119

• Most three-point shots in a game: eight (twice)

• Most consecutive games with at least one three-pointer: 34

According to Romanek, Leonard ranks among the top 20 all-time in the IHSA for scoring average (20.5 ppg), career three-pointers, three-pointers in a season, career free throws made (548) and most assists in a game (15).

Leonard won an AAU national championship with the Illlinois Hustle in 1994.

She played at Northwestern from 1997-2001 and became one of the top three-point shooters in school history. She led the Wildcats in assists as a sophomore and was named to the Big Ten Foreign Tour Team in 2000.

After Northwestern, Leonard became an assistant coach at Fenwick and ran basketball camps and conducted clinics.

“I was most proud of what Dana has done after her active playing career ended,” Romanek said. “Over the last 10 years, I constantly run into girls, some eventually playing at GBS, who had received great instruction and inspiration from Dana. The girls are always very complimentary about Dana. She has had a great impact on the next generation of basketball players.”

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