Billy Harrell of Troy was drawing huge throngs of Capital Region basketball fans to Siena games when he was playing for them from 1949-1952. A gifted two-sport athlete, Harrell was a United Press International All-American Honorable Mention. After his college playing days, Harrell rejected offers to play for the Harlem Globetrotters and the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers. He ultimately pursued a pro baseball career. Harrell played in the Negro league for the Birmingham Black Barons, then went on to a short stint playing hoop for the Saratoga Harlem Yankees of the American Basketball League. Harrell eventually went back to baseball and made it to the majors, playing for the Cleveland Indians (1955, 1957, and 1958) and the Boston Red Sox (1961). An infielder with a good glove, Harrell hit seven homeruns in 1958, his best year.