Hopefully, third time will be the charm for Gabe Levin. Going through the recruiting process for a third time, former Oak Park and River Forest High School basketball star Gabe Levin committed last week to play basketball at Marquette.
Prior to his decision to join the Golden Eagles, the 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward had been making a name for himself in the West Coast Conference at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles as an all-freshmen team performer. In 29 games, he averaged 11.1 points and 7.1 rebounds and recorded six double-doubles for the Lions. Levin’s association with the Lions seemed as bright as the Hollywood sign, until LMU head coach Max Good’s contract was not renewed. So Levin decided to take his talents elsewhere after brief stints at LMU and St. Thomas More, a prep school in Connecticut.
Over 30 schools expressed interest in the athletic swingman before Levin chose Marquette over Notre Dame and Northwestern.
“Gabe’s versatility and toughness will allow him to make an immediate impact on our program,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski recently told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He has already proven his ability to produce at a high level and we are extremely excited about his addition to the Marquette family.”
OPRF head coach, Matt Maloney, offered similar praise for his former player.
“I highly doubt there is a player on [Marquette’s] roster that has the type of motor that Gabe has,” Maloney said. “And it will be hard for them to find a better teammate.”
Levin will redshirt next season and then join the Golden Eagles on the court during the 2015-16 season.
“The big thing is that I just want to keep improving my skills all around,” Levin said. “I have a whole year to work on everything. The goal is for me to make a smooth transition. This offseason I’ll be working on trying to improve my overall skills, shooting ability and defense.”
Levin plans to study either Communications or Sociology at Marquette. Along with working on his game, he’s been active this summer helping out with youth basketball camps in Oak Park. Levin has been imparting the message to younger players about the importance of prioritizing academics first, then athletics.
He will hit the Marquette campus about the same time as 2014 OPRF grad/Olympic speed skater Emery Lehman, who, like Levin, has a clear sense of his priorities.
“Gabe taught the kids some very important things,” Maloney said of Levin’s interaction with local basketball campers. “He taught them to keep up their work in the classroom, keep good company and always be coachable. Most guys would be enjoying the summer, but Gabe is volunteering with us and helping these young players.”
Like so many other former OPRF players who have gone on to notable success in college basketball, including Iman Shumpert at the NBA level with the New York Knicks, Levin credits his experience with the Huskies as very beneficial.
“My experience was great [at OPRF],” Levin said. “Coach [Matt] Maloney did a really great job. He knows the game really well and he’s very competitive. All four years I played at OPRF I had great coaches to guide me in the right direction and I always had fun. I’ve spent a lot of time in that gym.”
Levin also credits OPRF assistant coach Quinn Peterson for fostering his development.
“I give all my player development credit to Quinn,” Levin said. “Without him, I wouldn’t be in the spot I am today.”
Maloney knows that Levin, a two time all-conference player and two time all-academic honoree at OPRF, will continue to work on his game with the same ferocity that he shows attacking the basket. During his senior year at OPRF, Levin established a reputation as a high-flying dunker who averaged 20 points and 10 boards a game in leading the Huskies to a 20-7 record and West Suburban Conference Silver Division title.
“There probably isn’t anyone I’ve coached as a head coach who has worked harder than Gabe,” Maloney said. “It wasn’t just on game days or in drills. He was always the first person to get to the gym and the last person to leave. He would always ask to do extra work and was never satisfied with his performance. Gabe always knew he was a Division I caliber player, even if not everybody believed it.”
Marty Farmer contributed to this story.

Join the discussion on social media!

3 replies on “High-flying Levin chooses Marquette”