Barry McLeod isn’t sure what exactly to expect Thursday night. He’s not used to having moments that are just about him, and him alone.
But the longtime boys basketball coach at Bridgeport Central will get one of those moments before the season finale against McMahon. The court will be named in his honor.
‘I’ve received a lot of phone calls. I have been pretty composed about the whole thing,” McLeod said. “I don’t want to get too nostalgic. It’s not a side of me I show too often.”
It will forever be known as Barry McLeod Court. The ceremony and game were postponed from Wednesday night due to inclement weather.
McLeod will be concluding his 26th season with the Hilltoppers and is closing in on 400 career victories. But what may lead to McLeod losing some composure will be the former players expected to be in attendance.
“The kids who come back 20-25 years later, I ask myself, ‘Why come back to see me?’” McLeod said. “But they do come back. When they tell me that they are doing well, that makes my day.”
McLeod, 63, has won three CIAC Class LL state championships and three FCIAC championships. He was a former standout player at both Notre Dame High and Centenary College.
The Hilltoppers finished No. 1 in the New Haven Register’s state media poll in both 2010 and 2014. Both times, McLeod was named the Register State Coach of the Year.
McLeod is unsure how many more years he will coach and didn’t completely rule out that Thursday night could be it.
“We (and his wife) will sit down at the end of the season and we will see,” McLeod said. “It won’t be for too much longer. I don’t know for sure.”
Fans wanting to attend the ceremony are asked to arrive at Central by 6 p.m.