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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Introducing Kawhi Leonard

By Diamond Leung

Hey, I'm new here, but I heard one of my ESPN colleagues calls talented freshmen "diaper dandies."

Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State would certainly qualify as one, even if a bunch of other schools didn't necessarily see it coming, as Michael Becker of The Press-Enterprise writes today.

Leonard, a 6-foot-7 forward and California's reigning Mr. Basketball, announced his arrival with a 23-point, 18-rebound performance against Cal State Fullerton that opened some eyes.

He's versatile, averages nearly a double-double for the Aztecs and has a Mountain West Conference player of the week honor under his belt. NBA scouts must be loving that they get to spend more time in San Diego these days.

But coming out of high school in Riverside, Calif., Leonard was passed over in recruiting by schools from the Pac-10 and other major conferences.

For inspiration, Leonard also has the memory of his father, Mark, who was shot to death last January.

Leonard played the day following the incident and is still going strong.