February 1, 2023

Leesburg High School Basketball Senior Night Is A Special One!

2.8 min read| Published On: February 1st, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Leesburg High School Basketball Senior Night Is A Special One!

2.8 min read| Published On: February 1st, 2023|

The Final Leesburg Basketball Senior Night On Original Court!

The Final class ever to grace the original court for The Yellow Jackets had their senior night this past week. The Yellow Jackets put on an amazing performance against Wekiva. A game in which Wekiva was a 13 point favorite the Yellow Jackets were not going to go quietly. The game was intense and neither team could get the offense working properly the entire game. Deffensively it was a lot of fun to watch. Ultimately though Wekiva proved too much and the final score was Wekiva 45 Leesburg 42. The historic gym will go through its first major renovation in over 20 years following this season!

It was a game that was very emotional as Leesburg bid farewell to 3 senior members who have done everything they possibly could for the historic program. We mentioned in a previous article that this was to be the final scheduled game played on the original hardwood court. The surface was nearly 50 years old and has an incredible amount of historic value. The surface was barely able to hold together this season, the gloss finish, almost completely gone and the hardwood with obvious signs of fatigue. However the surface did its job Tuesday night and it was home to so many great memories including two back to back championships in 2016 and 2017. The players, coaches and family members appreciated the effort the Yellow Jackets put in.

Three Senior Players Honored

#2 Camerin James

James is a 6”5 Senior Guard. He was instrumental in so many wins for Leesburg over the years and he is one of the most put together players we have seen come through the program. He was always in there for rebounds and was one of the leading offensive scorers for The Yellow Jackets. James and his family were very proud of his accomplishments over his many years of playing and he will be sorely missed by this team next season.

(Camerin James stands with friends and family members before his final home game.)

#10 Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris had an interesting road in his high school basketball career. He bagan playing for The Villages and ultimately left The Villages last season to aquire more playing time in Leesburg. He certainly got more playing time and was one of the standout players to make assists this year. It helps that many of those assists turned into points. Harris was a great assett to Leesburg this season.

(Nigel Harris stands with his family as he took to the Leesburg court one final time.)

#12 Derek McCray

McCray made his final start for the Leesburg Yellow Jackets at home Tuesday Night. McCray originally started his high school career with The Villages. Much like Harris he transitioned to Leesburg and began getting more playing time. McCray was one of the best outside shooters in the area. He once had 10 three pointers in a game for The Villages! McCray was quick and nimble offensively. Often seen as the sharp shooting target of the offense, when McCray had the ball he was a force to be reckoned with. If Leesburg can make the playoffs he will be one of the leaders of The Yellow Jacket Offense.

(The McCray family all standing together as Derek McCray would finish his final career home game for Leesburg.)

Looking Toward The Future

The Leesburg High School Gym is getting a makeover. Things will look vastly different come the fall of 2023. The gym will recieve new championship banners, a paint job, a brand new state of the art sound system and most of all a brand new floor will be installed. Parts of the old floor will be preseved including the center court logo for display.

Leesburg will need to work hard in the district playoffs if they want a shot at playing in the playoffs. The likelyhood of any more basketball games being played in the gym is very low at this point. Leesburg would be on the road in the playoffs most likely. If this is the last game on the old surface the final win on the historic hardwood court came on January 20th when the Yellow Jackets won against Eustis 80-42.

Photos Provided By –

Leesburg High School

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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