Garrett Lever is settling in nicely to his home at Weber State. In just his third year, and at the age of 25, the Desert Vista graduate has been named as an assistant coach.
“It’s a great opportunity for me. We have a great staff and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Lever said.
Last year, Lever was the director of basketball operations, a season which saw the Wildcats win the Big Sky title, Big Sky tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament.
“The coaches know I work hard, and they have a lot of faith in me and my ability to assume this role,” he said.
In addition to coaching, he will serve as a scout during the season, the recruiter on the West Coast, and an academic and housing adviser.
“It’s a lot of responsibilities that I have to take on, but I know that I have a great staff supporting me,” Lever said.
Weber St. coach Randy Rahe said Lever is the perfect understudy.
“We are really excited to have the opportunity to move Garrett into a full-time coaching position,” Rahe said. “He has spent the last two years in our program and understands our culture and the expectations we place on our players and coaches. He has a terrific basketball background and has proven himself as an extremely hard worker. He has a bright future in coaching.”
In addition to the rest of the Weber State staff, Lever has another place to turn for support and advice, two-time NBA All-Star Lafayette “Fat” Lever, his father.
The former first-round pick now serves as the director of player development for the Sacramento Kings.
“I talked to my dad a lot about this, and he was really happy for me,” Garrett Lever said. “Whenever we’d go play Sacramento State, I would meet with him after the game and we’d talk strategies.”
In terms of coaching, the Wildcats are looking to Lever as a defensive and rebound coach. He established himself as a defensive player during his playing career.
In two seasons playing at Seattle University, he averaged nearly two steals per game. In two junior college seasons, he averaged 2.3 steals as a sophomore and a national-best 3.6 steals per game his freshman year.
“We have a very good defensive philosophy here, so I won’t be implementing my own style” Lever said. “I do have some tricks to reading eyes and things like that I’ll be teaching.”
Lever, who turns 26 in August, came to Weber State from Seattle after being the director of operations for the university’s athletic department. He said it was a very different culture but one he was excited about.
“It was a huge change. (Weber State) is very fast-moving, very detailed, very organized and they always work hard,” he said. “They hold themselves to high, but reasonable, expectations, and I knew I was going to fit in here.”
Right now, Lever is in the busiest part of the year, until the season starts. He and the other coaches are traveling around the country recruiting at tournaments.
“We have three blocks where we go out starting on July 9. This is our biggest month,” he said.
Lever knows he’s very young to be in this position, but he also knows that he will be able to handle it.
“Going to junior college helped me to see other playing styles and opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have,” said Lever, who played at Midland Junior College. “It helped me grow up quicker, both on and off the court.”
• Will Argeros is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.