Bethany LeSueur was always good for a laugh when the LeSueur family needed
Paul and Liz LeSueur, Bethany's parents, were tremendous athletes who were
blessed with four children, including Paul, Sarah and Peter, Bethany's twin
brother. The three were excellent lacrosse and soccer players, even at a young
age. But Bethany? "She was different," Liz said. "She marched to her own beat.
If it was raining, she'd be out in the yard rolling around in a puddle . . .
She was the goofy one who went her own way."
In going that way, though, Bethany LeSueur was merely searching for an
outlet for all of her energy and passion. "I was a goofy kid," said LeSueur,
who also participated in soccer, lacrosse and swimming. "I was a little bit out
of it, and I think my parents thought I would be the one kid who didn't play
sports. Then I just fell into basketball."
Saying LeSueur fell into basketball is like saying Beethoven was fond of
LeSueur instantly fell in love with the game. Soon, her father was on the
phone looking to get Bethany on a team. Rich Hernandez remembers the day he
first met Bethany.
"Paul brought Bethany and her friend to meet me," said Hernandez, whose
son, Jason, recently completed an outstanding basketball career at Hofstra.
"After they worked out, I told her friend she could play on one of our other
AAU teams, and I told Paul, 'Bethany is playing for me.' The rest is history."
Since then, all LeSueur has done is make Long Island basketball history.
She became the first seventh-grader to play varsity basketball for Garden City
and went on to become Long Island's all-time leading scorer with 3,167 points.
This season, the 5-10 senior guard averaged 29.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.0
assists and 5.1 steals per game.
When coaches and officials met with Newsday staff members to decide on the
to take a vote for the Nassau player of the year. Everyone was in agreement.
For the third straight year, LeSueur has been named Nassau's top player.
LeSueur, who will attend the University of Virginia on a basketball
scholarship, recently was asked how she would like to be remembered on the
"As a complete player who did well on offense and defense," she said. "I
wasn't just a scorer."
She was a player who left Long Island with enough basketball memories to
last two lifetimes.
People will swear they were there the day the Garden City girls basketball
legend was born: Dec. 6, 1995, when LeSueur came off the bench to score 14
points against St. Mary's in her first varsity game. Or that they saw LeSueur
drop 30 on Sachem and Nicole Kaczmarski (24 points) in Garden City's 32-point
road win on Jan. 9, 1999. Or that they were witnesses almost two years later
when LeSueur broke Kaczmarski's Long Island scoring record of 2,583 points in a
win against Floral Park on Jan. 5.
It shouldn't be forgotten, though, that LeSueur was an All-State soccer
midfielder as a junior. She showed her versatility when she filled in as the
Trojans' goalkeeper as a sophomore because the starting keeper was injured.
LeSueur, who had played soccer since she was in kindergarten but had never
played keeper, went 5-1 with four shutouts.
LeSueur's athletic roots are easily traced. Her mother was a nationally
ranked AAU swimmer who also swam in college. Her father played professional
soccer with the New York Cosmos. Bethany's brother Paul played lacrosse at
Johns Hopkins and graduated in 1999. Sarah, her sister, plays lacrosse at Notre
Dame. Peter, Bethany's younger brother by five minutes, is an All-American
lacrosse player at Garden City and will play at Johns Hopkins.
The LeSueur family thought Bethany would follow in the lacrosse tradition.
She made the varsity team as a freshman, but the family soon realized where
Bethany's heart was. The Garden City lacrosse team took a trip to Florida
during spring break, and LeSueur packed a basketball with her. Whenever there
was down time, LeSueur was looking for a pickup game. "We knew then," Liz said,
"she didn't want to play lacrosse."
LeSueur had a bigger goal, a better plan and a greater vision.
"If you work hard, you'll find something you really like," LeSueur said.
"Garden City wasn't a basketball town, but I wanted to start something and
stick with it . . . I wanted to make a name for myself."
Bethany LeSueur File
School: Garden City Grade: Senior
Height: 5-10 Position: Guard
BY THE NUMBERS
Year GP Avg. Ast. Reb. Stl.
2000-2001 24 29.0 6.0 8.2 5.1
1999-2000 21 30.9 6.1 11.1 6.1
1998-1999 25 28.0 6.0 10.5 6.0
1997-1998 22 23.7 5.0 8.3 5.0
1996-1997 21 16.6 3.5 4.9 4.1
1995-1996 20 12.6 2.3 3.8 2.9
Totals 133 24.0 4.9 7.9 5.0
Bethany LeSueur is the most prolific scorer in Long Island history with 3,167
career points . . . She is No. 2 on the state's all-time list behind Caryn
Schoff of St. Johnsville (Section II) with 3,548 . . . This season, the
Virginia-bound LeSueur became only the third Long Island player to win the Miss
New York Basketball award . . . LeSueur is just the second Nassau player to
win the Charles H. Clark award three straight years . . . LeSueur never missed
a varsity game (133) in six seasons and led
Garden City to a 121-12 record . . . With LeSueur, Garden City won three Nassau
Class B and three Long Island championship / Southeast Regional titles, and
made a state final appearance in 1999 . . . Was one of only 20 players in the
U.S. to participate in the prestigious WBCA High School All-American Game in
Hartford on April 7.