Matt Leinart has made a smooth transition from the football gridiron to the next stage of his life, but his most recent stop at the world famous Los Angeles Drew League could have been his best athletic achievement.
"I love playing. It was competitive ball, I had a blast, and it was cool to be out here. I'm glad to be a part of it," Leinart told Drew League reporter and recent USC alum Law Murray following his solid 15-point performance.
The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, who also happens to be USC's last National Championship signal caller, took his athletic talents to the basketball court in hopes of resurrecting his friend's previously winless Drew League squad.
While Leinart's last public appearance on the basketball courts centered around his and Luke Walton's performance at an Equinox in Manhattan Beach, the lasting memory around this performance will be scripted in a much more positive light.
With Matt Leinart on the court, DJ calls up the Trojan Marching Band ... #FightOn at #TheDrew http://t.co/B2qnlkqaoC— Law Murray (@1maddskillz) June 15, 2014
Leinart came off the bench to the tune of that raucous USC-inspired Cardinal and Gold support before putting forth a solid effort, scoring 15 points (with three 3's) while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists to earn MVP Honors for his squads four-point victory late Saturday night.
One night after being at Staples Center as the Los Angeles secure their second Stanley Cup in three years, Leinart stopped by the Drew League to compete in the top pro-am basketball league in the country, which has been in existence since 1973, hosting the likes of NBA stars like fellow Trojan, Nick "Swaggy P" Young, UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook, and other notable players in Kobe Bryant, James Harden and Gilbert Arenas.
As an ever supportive father, and equally fierce competitor in the Fox Sports 1 Studio and especially during his inspirational triumph leading USC out of the tunnel before the Trojans upset of then No. 4 Stanford, Leinart can certainly cherish an awesome assortment of memories with his son, Cole, heading into Father's Day.
Thank you @lakings for giving Cole and I memories for a lifetime! The CUP is back in LA... #gokingsgo http://t.co/fghCphzM0a— Matt Leinart (@MattLeinartQB) June 14, 2014
Cole certainly can be proud of his father's performance, which featured 12 first-half points and some stingy work defending the paint. He may not have the atypical NBA body, but at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds (give or take) Leinart's size allowed him to do some nice work in the post, along with his ever confident jump shot from the perimeter.
"I know I can shoot the ball well so coming into this I wanted to get shots and get my feel for the game," Leinart said. That was certainly the case, as he connected on multiple three-point shots to inspire his teams' second-half comeback.
The biggest question on everyone's mind however, especially for those in attendance, was whether Leinart would hope to make another guest appearance in the weeks to follow. "I hope so, we'll see. That was really awesome," says Leinart. While the pro-am game may only be a one-time outing, his stat line makes you wonder what else he has left in the tank.
Whether he's hanging out at celebrity Beach Volleyball, Drew League Basketball, ESPY ceremonies, or even interviewing actors, Matt Leinart's living the dream. Nearly ten years following the USC and Texas Rose Bowl thriller, which will be profiled through ESPN E:60, we will certainly be talking about Leinart's contributions for years to come.