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Craig Leener got his start in organized basketball at the age of nine in a Southern California YMCA youth league on a team called the Monsters. He later secured a roster spot on the varsity squad at Van Nuys High School, where he was considered to be the thirteenth-best basketball player on a team of thirteen players.
Craig earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Los Angeles Valley College and a bachelor’s degree in radio, TV, and film from California State University, Northridge. While at CSUN, he served as a board operator at campus radio station KCSN 88.5 FM, engineering live broadcasts of men’s basketball games. Today he sits on the board of directors of CSUN’s Journalism Alumni Association, where he mentors student journalists.
Craig worked in human resources management within the entertainment industry for many years before landing his dream job as a sports journalist at The Signal newspaper in Santa Clarita, California. One summer, while working as a staff writer for The Signal, he traveled to every Major League Baseball stadium with his son, Zachary, delivering a series of articles from the road on fathers and sons and baseball.
Craig is a member of the North Valley Family YMCA in northern Los Angeles County and lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles with his wife, Andrea, and their two mischievous but well-meaning dogs, Sophie and Beau. He purports to be an eighty-seven-percent free-throw shooter on his backyard home court, a claim that has never been independently verified.
He is a passionate, lifelong opponent of the instant replay in sports.
This Was Never About Basketball is Craig’s debut novel.
Seventeen-year-old high school basketball star Ezekiel “Zeke” Archer has it all: a sweet jump shot, a full-ride scholarship to a Midwestern basketball powerhouse, and the brightest future. But when Zeke’s temper gets the better of him in the city championship, he is expelled from school, has to forfeit his scholarship, and is left to ponder… [Read More]
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