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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Leeper keeps her head in the game
Jordan Squiers
JMC 318

Vanessa Leeper was told in high school to put her focus into one sport if she was going to compete at the collegiate level.  While she chose to concentrate on basketball, she remained optimistic that she would be able to play two sports again.

“I was recruited with the hopes of pursuing soccer at UNK when the program started,” she said.  

She wasn’t able to play soccer in its inaugural year at UNK, when she was a sophomore, but took the opportunity last fall.  

“The basketball program received a new head coach, Kevin Chaney, and he decided to allow me to pursue soccer as well,” Leeper said.  “This first year of playing both soccer and basketball has been the best year of my sports career,” she said.    

Leeper says some of the biggest challenges of being a dual-sport athlete are maintaining physical health and managing her time.  

“Most of the risk lies in soccer because my scholarship is in basketball,” she said.

Leeper said she sometimes struggles to remember there are limits to the amount of physical activity her body can do in one day.  

“Last fall I would go to basketball for two hours and then to soccer for two hours,” she said.

Her position of goalie in soccer helps to alleviate some of the stress on her body, she said.  

While high school AP classes and extra-curricular activities taught her the time management necessary to balance her schedule, Leeper said she struggles to feel like she is pleasing both sets of coaches and teammates.

“They were very supportive and understanding,” she said. “But not being able to be in two places at the same time is a decision I have to make and cope with.”

According to lopers.com, Leeper is averaging 16.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and maintains a 3.95 GPA.  

Leeper has been named to Academic All-District teams the last two years and was first-team Academic All-Conference.  She was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year this year. 

She is from Colorado Springs, Colo. and earned All-State and most valuable player honors in high school volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

Leeper is pursuing a double major in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and sports administration and a minor in international business.

After college she hopes to go on a long-term mission trip somewhere in Africa before attending graduate school for international business.

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