Mizzou senior guard Cullen VanLeer will retire from basketball and receive a medical exemption, head coach Cuonzo Martin announced Tuesday. The exemption will allow VanLeer to retain his scholarship, but it will not count against Mizzou’s team scholarship numbers. VanLeer will continue to play a key leadership role in the program throughout the 2018-19 campaign.
“I’m very thankful for the support of Coach Martin and his staff, my teammates, my family and friends, and Mizzou Nation,” VanLeer said. “This was a difficult decision, but one that was best for me, my family and my future quality of life. I’m beyond excited for the season ahead and I’m ready to help lead our team to success in any way I can while I work toward graduation and earning my degree.”
“Cullen is a special young man and I admire his work ethic and his willingness to do everything in his power to better our program,” Martin said. “I appreciate his contributions to the team and I know his leadership will be a significant asset for us during the upcoming season. I look forward to seeing him walk across the stage with a degree in hand in May.”
VanLeer appeared in 94 games over three seasons, making 33 starts for Mizzou. He poured in 378 points and racked up 96 assists and 136 rebounds in that span. VanLeer helped secure Mizzou’s NCAA Tournament berth a season ago, appearing in 31 games while making 19 triples and dishing 30 assists before suffering a knee injury late in the season.
At Pacific High School VanLeer averaged 23.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a senior. Became the all-time leading scorer in Pacific history, snapping a record that stood since 1954 and was named Missouri Class 4 Co-Player of the Year.