Lieb Yat

THE player

Lieb Yat, Red Roo Sports’ latest prospect to receive a US College basketball scholarship, has just concluded a whirlwind experience that has taken him from rural Victoria to eastern Montana in less than a month.

With the College recruiting window approaching its close, the 209 cm Red Roo became the focus of Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana. Put into the recruiting frame with Dawson’s men’s basketball head coach, Joe Peterson via AAU Australia’s Coach Connex partnership with Red Roo Sports, Yat became a target to fill the impact big man role.

Enthused at the prospect’s size, athleticism, speed, skills, development potential and academic competence, Coach Peterson had no hesitation in offering a scholarship that covered tuition, housing and books. “We offered Lieb because he has all of the physical tools to be a big time player”, recalled Coach Peterson. “He’s long, mobile, and has good hands and feet. Very similar to one of our former players when he arrived here two years ago.  He worked hard and really developed which eventually earned him 15 D1 offers.”

Yat immediately recognised the scale of the Buccaneer’s offer and jumped at it. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” mentioned the Power Forward/Centre. “It’s something (a full-ride scholarship) not everyone gets to have. I’m just so happy I’ve got a chance to go over and take my talents there and obviously improve and eventually reach the D1 level.”

Coach Peterson echoed Yat’s excitement about his future. “He definitely has D1 potential and could play at the highest level if his mentality is right.”

With a solid history during Peterson’s tenure of players transferring to 4-year schools, Peterson see’s no reason why Lieb will not follow suit. “If Lieb has the character and work ethic then his ceiling is incredibly high. We are going to work with him and develop him. And he will have the opportunity to prove himself against high level competition. As long as he has the right attitude and work ethic, he will be something special. The core values in our culture are Attitude, Work Ethic and Teamwork. If Lieb embraces that then he will be successful in basketball, school and life.”

The mention of team captain, Michael Jok, is significant to both Coach Peterson and Lieb and became a solid complimentary reason to move to Glendive Montana. “I think (Dawson) will be the perfect stepping stone,” comments Yat. “Obviously with one of my old teammates, MJ, there, I think that will really in giving me that push up to the next level.”

For Red Roo Sports Head, James Kerr, Lieb’s scholarship is the result of a great team effort. “Aside from Lieb’s own contribution, this has been the result of enormous work from a few parties. We only could really sink our teeth into this with the support and help of the Coach Connex program and their network of college coaches. They got the ball rolling with Coach Peters.  We can’t forget how BallerTV and Creedszn helped with their video footage, either. We don’t even get off the starting line without them. And then we have the AAU who organised some outstanding recent events, despite all of the trouble COVID has caused to basketball, so that Lieb could play and get film from. The level of competition Lieb was able to play is what, in the end, helped Coach Peterson see his true potential and value to his program.”

Lieb has joined Dawson at the perfect time to maximise his educational and sporting potential. Coming off the best season in program history, including conference and regional titles, and a trip to the NJCAA Tournament, Yat will certainly face touch opposition and incredible opportunity for growth and exposure. “I saw Dawson as a place where I could improve and reach the next level. Not everyone gets to have a full ride scholarship like I do, so I think it’s really the greatest thing I could achieve right now.”