About the Author

Craig Leener Portrait

Craig Leener got his start in organized basketball at the age of nine in a Southern California YMCA youth league on a team called the Monsters. He later secured a coveted roster spot on the varsity squad at Van Nuys High School, where he was considered to be the 13th-best basketball player on a team of 13 players.

Craig earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Los Angeles Valley College and a bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV/Film from California State University, Northridge. While at CSUN, he served as a board operator at campus radio station KCSN 88.5 FM, engineering live broadcasts of men’s basketball games. Today he sits on the board of directors of CSUN’s Journalism Alumni Association, where he mentors student journalists and serves as the organization’s director of scholarships.

Craig worked in film operations, post-production technical services and human resources management within the entertainment industry for many years before landing his dream job as a sports journalist at The Signal newspaper in Santa Clarita, California. One summer while working as a staff writer for The Signal, he traveled to every Major League Baseball stadium with his son, Zachary, delivering a series of syndicated columns from the road on fathers and sons and baseball.

Craig is a member of the North Valley Family YMCA in northern Los Angeles County and lives in the bustling suburbs of the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Andrea, and their two mischievous but well-meaning dogs, Sophie and Beau. He purports to be an 87-percent free-throw shooter on his backyard home court, a claim that has never been independently verified.

He is a passionate, lifelong opponent of the instant replay in sports.

This Was Never About Basketball is Craig’s debut novel. All Roads Lead to Lawrence is the book’s sequel. The author is currently hard at work on the final book of this Zeke Archer young-adult basketball trilogy, set for worldwide publication on Dec. 8, 2020.