New Coug hooper gives assist to Weaver & Co.

BRYCE LEAVITT

KYLE WEAVER, Derrick Low and Taylor Rochestie hung up their crimson jerseys a few years ago, but they're still dishing off assists for Ol' Wazzu. Bryce Leavitt, a sharpshooting guard from Kennewick High, was invited to walk on this coming season at Washington State, Gonzaga, Washington and Boise State but says he chose WSU in part because of the lasting impression left by those old Cougar guards.

"I grew up in a town, the Tri-Cities, with a lot of Cougar fans, and started watching basketball when the Bennetts were there," Leavitt told CF.C Monday in a phone interview in Pullman, where he is getting ready to start summer school and voluntary workouts.

"I liked how Kyle Weaver was always trying to get everyone involved (in the offense). Taylor Rochestie and Derrick were in the backcourt. Everyone was unselfish and part of the scoring," he remembered.

That affinity for the program, coupled with the style of offense Ken Bone runs, made the choice of WSU an easy one to make, said the 6-4, 185-pound Leavitt.

"I like Coach Bone's style of play, and think this a good place to come in and try to earn a scholarship ... Will DiIorio was in the same position at one time. Coach Bone gives people a fair chance," Leavitt said.

DiIorio, the Pride of Bainbridge, was a preferred walk on to WSU in 2010 and has proceeded to see action in 40 games over the past two seasons.

Like DiIorio, who came to Pullman with an impressive prep resume, Leavitt is no pretender. This past season, he earned Associated Press All-State honors and was named Big Nine 3A player of the year after averaging 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. He also quarterbacked the Kennewick High football team to the state quarterfinals.

In hoops, his Kennewick Lions knocked off incoming scholarship Cougar Brett Boese's Shadle Park team in the state playoffs, with the two of them lighting up the scoreboard. "My team was lucky enough to win. We were really going at it -- I think in the first half he had 20 points and I had 19 ... We're both pretty excited about coming to WSU."

"Bryce is a great kid and I'm excited for him to be a Coug," said Kennewick High coach Bradyn Leyde.

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