Athlete Of The Week: Leo Gallagher

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Over the weekend, the local high school basketball season tipped-off, including for Seton Catholic Central High School.

This week, I met up with senior Leo Gallagher after a tremendous effort in his team's first two games.

"The great thing about Leo is even if the shot's not falling on a particular night for him, he always finds ways to help us win. He's just a winner," said SCC Coach Chris Sinicki.

The Seton Catholic Central boy's basketball team is off to a 2-0 start to begin their 2017-18 season.     

For the second-straight year, they won their division in the STOP-DWI Winter Classic.

They got major contributions from players like Peter Hartrick, who scored in double digits in both games, Marcus Dyes, who was named tournament M.V.P., and, of course, Leo Gallagher.

Gallagher was named to the All-Tournament team, the lone representative from SCC.

Saints head coach Chris Sinicki told me that Leo is a special type of player, and one that Seton is proud to have.

"When it's on the line, you want the ball in the hands of your best player, and a guy that can not only make a shot, but also find open guys, like he did in certain instances in the game, to create shots for his teammates."

Gallagher, in his senior year now, has really enjoyed his time at Seton Catholic so far, and really appreciates the support that the school and fellow students give him and the team.

He believes that the dedicated fans inside "the Greenhouse" help give the Saints an unrivaled advantage.

"It's a huge advantage really. A lot of these guys that come in here and play against us aren't used to it. They get right up in there face, and they're really loud. They really just help out a lot and keep us going, and get us excited to play, so it's fun," said Gallagher.

Leo can trace his love of the sport all the way back to when he was just a few years old, and barely able to shoot a basketball.

"I remember playing at the YMCA when I was probably like 3 or 4 on these hoops that were probably like seven feet tall. I just remember having a really good time going out there and having fun."

He also said he can remember playing with his older sister, Rachael, and younger brother, Redmond, when they were smaller.

His dad, Terry, coached Leo for many years as well as providing a great deal of support alongside Leo's mother, Wendy.

Off the court, I'm told that Gallagher is a genuine human being as well, something I learned in the short time I spoke with him.

"He's extremely humble. With him, it's not about individual, it's about team. I wish sometimes he would accept credit more than he does. He always deflects, and he's always looking to give credit to other guys, which is why he's the consummate teammate."

With that in mind, when I asked him about what he would personally like to accomplish in his senior year, this is what he told me.

"The goal is a state title. I mean, I don't really care about anything for myself. I mean, whatever it takes to win, basically, that's what I'm going for."

And how will they get there you might ask?

"Just every day, try and get better. We know where we want to be at the end of the season. I mean, we want to be playing in the state finals, but right now, it's just work your butt off and practice as hard as you can and try to get better every day, that's it."

As far as the rest of the season goes, there's still plenty of basketball to be played for Seton Catholic.

But one thing's for sure, they know what they'll be getting from Leo Gallagher, and that's 110% effort.

"There's a fire in the belly, always. He is as competitive a player as I've had here in 20 years."

You can see Leo and the Saints in action this Thursday at home against Susquehanna Valley.

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