Schenectady High School won the Big 10, Section II, Region II, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Tournament Championship in 1988. In their final game, they lost to Rice in the Federation Tournament to finish the season at 28-1. Willie Deane and James Thomas were the Patriot catalysts. Other starters on that outstanding quintet were Justin Hoffman, Jamar Sims, and Patrick O’Connor. Deane and Thomas were both named to the Daily Gazette All-Area First team. Deane was also named the Albany Times Union Player of the Year. The 6’1″ guard set a Schenectady single-season scoring mark with 662 points and finished his career with a school record 1500 points. He also averaged close to seven rebounds and five assists per contest. Two of Deane’s biggest games came against very tough competition. In the final game of the sectional tournament, he tallied 28 points and had six assists. In the Region II game against Corcoran, the quick guard, who was very elusive in the open floor, scored ten quick points to help the Pats pull away from their opponent. Deane was very creative on the basketball court, and he could really get off the floor. Thomas was the Patriots’ strong center with great leaping ability. He averaged a little over 14 points and 12 rebounds per game. Defensively, he had 58 blocked shots. Only a junior, he was already being recruited by some upper level Division I schools. After leaving Schenectady High, Deane attended Boston College on a basketball scholarship, but then transferred to Purdue, where he had had an ourstanding college career. One season, he led the big 10 in scoring. Thomas left high school after his junior year and attended Hargrave Academy in Virginia. He later played for Texas, where he set a Longhorn career rebound record.