How Cincinnati high school hoops started the coaching journey for UCLA’s Mick Cronin

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Lakota West boys basketball coach Jim Leon can’t wait to arrive in Indianapolis for the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four Saturday.

Leon is enjoying every minute that UCLA head coach Mick Cronin – his former Woodward assistant coach – and the Bruins are in the tournament.

“He’s like a professor,” said Leon, who has coached high school basketball since the early 1980s. “He understands the game better than anybody I’ve ever been around.”

Leon remembers the conversation he had with the former University of Cincinnati head coach as Leon offered Cronin the Woodward junior varsity coaching position in the summer of 1990.

Cronin, a former La Salle point guard, had just graduated from high school.

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