Classroom Champions: Ellison's D'Marcus Leach

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) D'Marcus Leach is a model student athlete.

"A kid that can do so well on the basketball court and maintain straight A's in his AP classes is pretty admirable," Ellison High School teacher Robin Scheafnocker said.

"He's just one of those kids that you wish you had 10 of them every year," said Ellison boys basketball coach Alberto Jones Jr. "You can deal with the results of winning or losing if you had 10 of him every year."

The Ellison boys did win a lot of games this past season -- 32 victories total, including an 8-game win streak that began the day D'Marcus made his season debut after returning from a knee injury.

"He had to be out because of the surgery and had his makeup work finished when he came back," Scheafnocker said. "It wasn't like, 'Will I get this many days?' His makeup work was done when he came back."

"I take a lot of AP classes, and if you start slacking off, your grades will dip very fast," Leach said. "I've been learning to stay on top of what I'm doing, stop procrastinating, and that's how I've been able to achieve these grades I have."

D'Marcus is ranked 17th in his class of more than 600 students. He's a four-time winner of the Killeen ISD Academic Achievement award, Academic All-State basketball member, and a part of the National Honor Society.

The future Baylor Bear plans to major in engineering, but is also hoping for a walk-on spot on head coach Scott Drew's team.

"I think the first time I went to Baylor, I was like, 'This is the place for me,'" Leach said. "Believe it or not, I saw coach Drew there. It was crazy. That's how I knew it was for me."

"I've had a lot of smart kids, too, don't get me wrong, but he's bordering Einstein smart," said Jones Jr. "His grades, the classes he's taken, and on the court he never misses practices. He plays hard and is the model kid."

"He's such a nice young man," said Schaefnocker. "It's nice to have someone like D'Marcus around who is respectful, a diligent worker, has a sense of humor and a smile as well."