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Leveille grew up near Albany, N.Y, between the sport’s Long Island and central New York hotbeds. He played hockey, but chose to focus on lacrosse at Albany Academy. His father, George, was instrumental in sport’s growth locally and nationally, organizing the popular Lake Placid Classic. His brother, Mike, won an NCAA championship and the 2008 Tewaaraton Award at Syracuse.


With the support of his older brother,


Mike Leveille played on the 2010 U.S. team as a swingman that could play midfield or attack. Roles would be reversed if Kevin makes it to Denver. “He’s been such an influence on me as an athlete and a person,” said Mike Leveille, adding that Kevin emphasized he follow his own path with his decision to attend Syracuse. “It was tough four years ago, but he was there the whole


Leveille gives Team USA a legitimate inside scoring threat, something it lacked in an exhibition loss to Canada at the 2012 Duel in Denver.


ALTERNATE PATH


Three of the 30 players vying for the final 23 spots on the U.S. roster know all too well the difficulty of that pursuit.


Midfielder Matt Abbott, attackman Kevin Leveille and defenseman Lee Zink were alternates in 2010. Leveille and Zink traveled with Team USA to Manchester. “It’s been a long road. I’ve been close a couple of times. My first tryout was in 2001. I was in college at the time. I didn’t have too high of an expectation,” said Leveille, whose younger brother, Mike, played on the 2010 team. “It was a great experience for me, to be able to watch my brother and have the best seat in the stadium. I’m getting to be one of the older guys at this point. This is probably my last run at it. I would like to make the 23-man roster.”


The last U.S. alternate to qualify for the team four years later was defenseman Nicky Polanco, who traveled with Team USA to Australia as an alternate in 2002 and then played for the U.S. in Canada in 2006.


Faceoff man Paul Cantabene, infamously left off the final squad for a silver-medal finish in 2006, returned as an assistant coach in 2010.


A Publication of US Lacrosse


way. I’m looking forward to being there and switching those roles and being able to support him and watch him do his best.” But Kevin Leveille doesn’t want to talk about what it would mean to him if he finally gets to take the field at a world championship. “It’s certainly humbling and kind of crazy to think about,” he said. “But at the end of the day, all that matters is that Team USA gets the gold.” Spoken like a true finisher.


— Sean Burns SUPPORT TEAM USA


Help send Lee Zink, Kevin Leveille, Chris Eck and 27 other U.S. team hopefuls to the FIL World Championship by making a secure online donation at USLacrosse.org.


USLacrosse.org/Donate April 2014 >> LACROSSE MAGAZINE 65


©SCOTT MCCALL


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