Sneaky Old
Last year

Steve Leven again

A fall from Grace, waking up and seeing another professional baller struggling to make things work off the court.

Shame many people lost there job and potentially money because of the actions of these directors.

Lying of degrees makes things worst.

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Last year

Very different circumstances, but in terms of 'struggling I wonder how Luke Martin is doing these days. I hope he's recovered somewhat.

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Last year

Thanks for the link.

Leven has always been full of it so nothing has changed.

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Diop Kick  
Last year

The best player to never play for Wildcats.

I remember the hype and confidence of this kid was huge

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Last year

Leven was an absolute head case and could not stay anywhere for long as a result of it.

Could play the game but too hard to handle and no one wanted to have to continually deal with him.

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Sneaky Old  
Last year

Another Ed Smith player, I love the mention of Luke Martin.

Fake degrees from 2 universities, the PHD falling apart on the wall.

When I look through his LinkedIn shows he worked at some big companies I wonder if they employed him on the bases of these degrees.

He was one hell of a player, but a screw loose off the court.

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Last year

I have no idea who this guy is, other than the name vaguely ringing a bell.

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Last year

I don't think it's fair to say "Ed Smith" guy and blame it on that factor.

L Martin and Leven yes - but what about guys like Clint Reed and Anthony Susnjara?

It's more socio-economic factors. Also, potentially being "too good" for your age and not having anyone keep you grounded.

Russell Hinder touched on it beautifully in the Hardwood Time Capsule podcast - you go from earning decent money and feeling "famous" to then being retired and needing a real job.

Both Leven and Martin always had big tickets on themselves and over achieved at an early age especially with NCAA exposure.

And lolz at any type of suggestion that Aird's finest (possibly the first or second ghetto est suburb in Sydney) has tertiary qualifications in any field lol.

I don't think Leven could spell Wyoming much less earn enough credit points to attain a degree from there lol.

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Dave Marshall  
Last year

KR, he signed with the Wildcats for 2006/07 and played for them in the Blitz, but never played a regular season game - I'm pretty sure he was let go before the season started for attitude problems.

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Last year

and he was shitty about not already being a Boomer the entire time.

Who the F are these gullible investors? A sucker really is born every minute.

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Cosmo Spacely  
Last year

My wife coached Leven when he was playing schools basketball at a regional level
in NSW , she came home and said that he was probably the most gifted athlete she had ever seen but was an absolute disaster as a person.

His intellectual capabilities was so low that he would have qualified for the Special Olympic teams . Huge chip on his shoulder over where he came from and at that tournament he broke team curfew and went to the pub , cause that's just what he did.

Its amazing that he would even try and pass himself off as a holding a PHD , but if you are going to tell a lie make it a huge one.

Make a good TV series one day .....

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Last year

He did make it to the season,it was my first as a member. He rode the pine because of his attitude and didn't see a minute of time.

Brad Robbins who had signed as training player got his minutes instead. Brad showed a bit, Leven saw the writing on the wall and quit a week or two into the season.

Went and played in the UK league for a bit.

As others have attested to, he was a complete headcase and you could tell after only spending a small amount of time with him.

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Last year

I remember reading an article about him in the shortlived basketball magazine 'jammin'. Australia's attempt at SLAM magazine. Anyway, I remember that he was miffed about not getting an automatic invite/selection for the Boomers at the time, because he was a top 50 player in US High School basketball. Says it all, really.

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Last year

He was definitely a gifted athlete.

I would say Australia's most athletic wing player if not most athletic across all positions - excluding players with an African-American father.

He was also quite skilled individually.

Re: his shortcomings you do have to put it into context though. He wouldn't have had any stability in his home life, Airds is almost entirely in bred bogans and housos.

The attitude problem at Perth was astonishing. They were arguing over essentially one thing - whether Leven could listen to his iPod during team weights session.

Coach was adamant he wanted him locked in with the rest of the team, Airds boy wanted to tune out.

It's a shame, coz a coach who had a different view might have been able to slowly mould him as a responsible man and thus a handy player.

I remember at the time, I spoke with many ex players/imports who harboured coaching gigs and they all predominantly laid blame on the coach (was it Fisher?)

They said Leven's rep was widely known, but so was his ability, and that he was more than worth slightly bending the rules for or at least coming to a middle ground.

I remember Bolden saying, "you just have to get him, he's a unique dude in terms of where his life has taken him, let him lock in and tune out with his tunes, then encourage him to lift with the squad".

Pretty huge what could have been for Boomers basketball as this guy was unlike any other 2 guard we have ever fielded (at least pre NBA player days).

He wasn't far off from Rillie's playmaking and coulld shoot well enough. Was probably more athletic than Mackinnon and Saville. Was (or could have been) a better on ball defender than Brett Maher, and was a fair bit more versatile position wise than all of them.

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Last year

It's a shame, coz a coach who had a different view might have been able to slowly mould him as a responsible man and thus a handy player.
Easy for it to be put on the Perth coach, but no other NBL coach seems to have taken him on to try as you suggested. Wonder if he came through a decade later, if a team might've tried a sports psychologist to get the best from him if all the athletic ability was as advertised?

Luke Martin had his well-publicised flameout, but to his credit he managed 10+ years playing basketball. Going by Wikipedia, Leven's pro career in its entirety was 9 games of German B-league, 32 games of British/English league games, and 16 games of Dutch league. Imagine the luck of twice joining a Greek team and then they both had financial problems!

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Last year

Martin had a support network of brother, friends, family and his background was nowhere near as ghetto.

I don't quite think I can emphasise verbally just how ghetto Airds is lol.

It is the epitome of public housing, crime, and every single socio-economic disadvantage I can conjure up. I'm fairly sure Leven only had his teenage/single mum as "support" growing up.

Before Ed Smith, only really had the local Campbeltown rep program to "develop" under. Pretty average rep program that didn't even play in the then ABA (now NBL1), just State League.

No involvement with the Rob Beveridges of the world that I know of, or any link with the Sydney SKY (Sydney Kings Youth), or any other legitimate programs that I know of.

Then moving to the US as a high school age kid and getting full rides with Auburn and Wyoming - in a time when Div 1 NCAA wasn't yet infiltrated with Aussies - I think it speaks volumes of his natural athletic ability and what could have been potential.

In today's game he may have had a slight chance of survival - with greater awareness of mental health, how to handle difficult personalities, greater tolerance to things like anxiety etc, but who knows.

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