John "Dutch" Leonard '59
“Dutch” Leonard launched his
collegiate basketball career in 1955, started 72 of 75 games, played for three
different coaches and in his fourth season, became the first Grove City College
player to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
The talented guard held the career scoring record with 1,013 points for three more years after his graduation in 1959. His 41 points in a 104-95 win over Fenn College (now Cleveland State) set a single-game scoring record which lasted for nine years.
In addition, his record of 23 consecutive free throws made lasted for several decades.
He co-captained the cage team in his junior and senior years and earned Omicron Delta Kappa Sportsman of the Year as a junior in 1958.
Following his senior year, Leonard played in a “Little Guys-Big Guys” benefit game for Maurice Stokes at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House with seniors from the Tri-State area before a crowd of 5,528.
Leonard scored six points in his Grove City uniform to help the Little Guys (6-feet and under) defeat the Big Guys (6-5 and over), 79-76.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he taught and coached the Jamestown (N.Y.) High School team to three sectional championships. Two of his players earned All-State and went on to play for North Carolina and Duke, respectively.
Leonard was inducted into the Butler Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.