Former Mathews standout, Ohio Basketball Hall of Famer passes away


VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Former Mathews boys basketball standout and Ohio Basketball Hall of Famer Rex “The Hex” Leach has passed away.

According to his family, Leach passed away Saturday at the age of 84.

He is a 1955 graduate of Mathews and played college basketball at Bowling Green University.

Despite receiving contract offers from the New York Knicks and St. Louis Hawks to play professional basketball, he was commissioned in the United States Army and served until being honorably discharged in 1967 as a First Lieutenant.

Inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, Rex set Ohio prep records for career points (2,581, a stand-alone record set prior to the establishment of the 3-point line), single-season points (1,266, #1 in Ohio) and season scoring average (43.3).

In his junior season, Bowling Green won the 1958-59 Mid-American Conference Championship.

As a college senior, Leach was named Captain of the Falcons and was the team’s leading rebounder his freshman, junior and senior years.

He was also a longtime coach with stops at North Royalton, Richmond Heights, South Range and Mathews.

He was inducted into the Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000, and Trumbull County Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

In memory of his outstanding athletic achievements, Mathews High School honored him by naming the basketball court “Rex Leach Court” in 2014.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. at Davis-Becker Funeral Home, 8536 Market Street, Boardman.

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