These are Thirteen of Schenectady County’s top high school basketball players in history (not in order). Just thirteen of them! I know there were many other very good ones.
Barry Kramer, Linton – The greatest of them all! His credentials speak for him. From Linton to NYU to the NBA.
Pat Riley, Linton – A kid with an unbeatable temperament, a great second effort, and he was tenacious off the boards (at only 6’3″, he had 30 rebounds in one game his freshman year at Kentucky). A prolific high school scorer.
Jimmy Tedisco, Bishop Gibbons – Strong, great leaping ability, and he could put points on the board in flurries. Brilliant career at Union College.
Billy Kirvin, Mont Pleasant – A deadly shooter and great team leader, Kirvin was a very intelligent player with a great deal of court sense. He had a marquee career at Xavier.
Dick Grubar, Bishop Gibbons – A heady floor general who seldom turned the ball over. Very sound in all spects of the game. He was a two-time Schenectady County Player of the Year, then went on to star at North Carolina. Perhaps the greatest point guard ever to come out of Schenectady County.
Eddie Catino, Mont Pleasant – He had a quick first step and cat-like moves along the baseline. A very scrappy player who played on Sig Makofski’s wonder teams. Catino had a bang-up career at George Washington University.
Willie Deane, Schenectady High – Superb clutch player who could do it all. He had all he moves and great leaping ability. Deane reminded me a little of David Modest.. Deane also moved well without the ball, and he was one of the best players in the big-ten when he played at Purdue.
Mack Suprunowicz, Mont Pleasant – An aggressive player who really pounded the boards, his style was a little like Pat Riley’s. Suprunowicz scored and played sound defense. Went to Michigan State where he became one of their all-time top players.
David Modest, Linton – Perhaps the best guard ever to play for the Blue Devils. He had lightning quick moves, great body balance, and his creativity on the basketball floor could capture the imagination of any basketball fan. Attended Providence College for a short period of time.
Sidney Edwards, Linton – He along with Rashaun Freeman have to rate as the best centers ever to play for Linton or Schenectady High. A dominant big man whose main strengths were rebounding and shot-blocking, though he was no slouch putting the ball in the basket. Edwards averaged around 27 points per game for his Linton team that finished undefeated at 22-0. He went on the an oustanding career at Houston and then played with the Globetrotters for awhile.
Jason McKrieth, Schenectady High – The consummate player. McKrieth never forced the action, but let the game come to him. Effective both inside and outside, McKrieth was at his best when the game was on the line. A member of Schenectady’s State Championship Team, he was the kid you would want on your side when the goin’ was toughest. He excelled at Rice University.
Leo McDermott, St. Columba’s – A big, rugged player who got the job done at both ends of the floor. He was the first area player to average more than 30 points per game for one season. Attended Xavier of Ohio.
Rashaun Freeman, Schenectady High – A consistent rebounder, shot-blocker, and double-digit scorer, Freeman was the focal point on Schenectady High’s 2001-2002 team. He also teamed up with Jason McKrieth his junior year and led Schenectady to the state title. Went to UMass, where he had a superb career. One of their top players in all departments.
P.S. – just one more
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include James Thomas, Schenectady High – He had a great deal of raw power and was able to muscle the ball into the basket. Thomas was one of the strongest players ever to play locally, and he was a great rebounder and defensive player. Thomas was not a real skilled offensive player, but used his upper body strength to score inside. He went to Texas, where he became an absolutely magnificent rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. He set a Longhorn career rebound record, and he snagged 17 rebounds in 29 minutes of play against Providence, and 17 more in 24 minutes against Baylor his senior year.