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Basketball senior has professional dreams

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Toshua Levitt and a University of Texas at Arlington Maverick square off Aug. 1 2017. Photo by Bill Spiller.

Most basketball sharpshooters are born with it, and Toshua Leavitt without a doubt has the long-range gene. Since her time at Nixa High School, Leavitt has been a lights out shooter.

Jennifer Perryman, one of Leavitt’s high school coaches, said one of her favorite memories of Levitt dates back to her senior year.

“We got the tip and three seconds had gone off the clock, she dribbled twice and pulled up at the volleyball line and drained (it),” Perryman said. “I gave her a ‘what the heck’ look and she said ‘coach I was open.’ I said ‘Tosh, most people on the volleyball line are open!’ It was a great moment between a confident shooter and a coach. I’ll never forget it.”

Last season, Leavitt set a school record with 10 three-pointers made in a game against Georgia State, making her one of only two players to make 10-plus 3-pointers in multiple games last season.

Additionally, she broke NCAA records with 137 three-pointers in a single season, which was only four behind St. Francis University’s Jessica Kovatch who had 141 in a season. Leavitt averaged a team-best of 17.9 points per game and shot better behind the arc than almost 80 percent of players in her sport.

Leavitt was also named to the All-Sun Belt Conference Second Team, but she wants more. Levitt barley missed the first team, falling just behind former Coastal Carolina guard Jas Adams.

“Obviously I want to get Player of the Year, that would be great. I want to get the first team (All-Sun Belt) because I should have got it last year,” Leavitt said. “But yes, Player of the Year is my goal.”

Last year’s team had its best season under Head Coach Zenarae Antoine with the Bobcats going 23 and 10 and losing in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament. The team was led by Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Taeler Deer with Leavitt receiving a majority of Deer’s 6.4 assists per game.

With Deer gone, Leavitt will have to take on more of the offensive heavy lifting. It should also be noted that Texas State has never had back to back Sun Belt Player of the Year winners, so if Leavitt does find a way to win, she’ll have her fingerprints on just another page of the history books.

This year’s team however only has a handful of key veterans from last year’s squad making it even harder for many to keep Texas State atop of the preseason rankings.

Of all of Leavitt’s goals, the loftiest is her goal of playing at the next level, something no other recent Sun Belt grad has been able to do.

“I know I want to keep playing. Maybe the WNBA or overseas if I get the chance to,” Leavitt said.

This coming season will be the first where the spotlight is focused directly on Leavitt. If Texas State wants to build a reputation of winning basketball, they will be leaning heavily on their sharpshooter.

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