Ervin Leavy: Still A Star!

July 4, 2009

Ervin Leavy Jr. is often forgotten when it comes to Flint’s top basketball players.

It’s no secret that Flint is known for its keen ability to produce top-tier basketball talent, but while names like Glen Rice, Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Charlie Bell are familiar nationwide, Ervin Leavy Jr. is rarely mentioned with Flint’s greats.

“It doesn’t bother me that my story is not mentioned. My goal right now is to be the best professional that I can be,” Leavy said. “I don’t worry about the past or getting acknowledged for the things I’ve done. I have enough accolades and hardware for my memories. I don’t need others to boost my ego.”

Nicknamed “Lightning,” for his ability to strike from anyplace on the court with his jump shot, Leavy was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1987 NBA Draft with the 10th pick of the seventh round. Although he didn’t make the final cut while battling the likes of fellow rookies Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant for roster spots, not many guys can say that they had the opportunity to play with Michael Jordan during his prime.

“That was during the time when Michael was averaging like 35 (points) a game so I was definitely in awe of him the entire time I was in training camp and he was as good as we all thought,” Leavy said.

Growing up on Dupont Street in Flint, Leavy honed his skills behind Gundry Elementary School where he would play all day. During his prep career at Flint Central High School, he showed no early indications that he could potentially play professional hoops. In fact, he struggled to even make the team.

“I got cut four years in a row. I got cut in the seventh grade, eight grade, ninth grade and 10th grade. I got the opportunity to play JV ball my junior year and in my senior year we won the state championship,” Leavy said. “I graduated in 1983 and I went over to Mott College and that’s where I felt that I got the opportunity to show that I could shoot the basketball.”

After two solid seasons at Mott, Leavy transferred to Central Michigan University where he flourished as a player alongside former Phoenix Suns forward Dan Majerle. Leavy finished his career as CMU’s No. 4 all-time scoring average leader, top-25 in career points (1,003) and he earned a spot on the All-Mid-American Conference (MAC) First Team in 1987.

When the Chicago Bulls stint didn’t work out, he played briefly on the semi-professional level as well as internationally but decided to go back to school to pursue his college degree. In 1991, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration from CMU and now works as the Assistant Director of Intramural Sports at the University of Michigan-Flint. For the past six years, he has also ran a youth basketball camp for ages 6-14, where he uses his own personal journey to steer the children in the right path.

“Education is most the important because if you don’t have the grades then you can’t play, and that’s the number one thing,” Leavy said

*Click on the pic to view this post at

Ervin "Lightning" Leavy

Ervin "Lightning" Leavy


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