NEWS/FEATURES, Grades 3–6, 1st Place
Willie Deane is a Schenectady High School graduate who played basketball professionally for 15 years, mostly in foreign countries such as Russia, France, Greece, and also Turkey. He played two games in the NBA, for the Washington Wizards. He retired from basketball in 2018 and moved back to the Capital Region.
In March, Deane read his book “Love” and answered questions from students at Pleasant Valley Elementary School.
Deane, 39, started playing basketball because his mother signed him up for the basketball team. He won a State Championship for S.H.S in 1998. He retired from playing professional basketball because he said it was “time to settle down and give my family support and more stability.”
Deane’s oldest daughter inspired him to write “Love.” The main character in the book, a girl named Sara, was inspired by his two daughters and his grandmother, who was also named Sara.
The first job Deane had in his life was at a grocery store. Now that he’s retired from basketball he plays baseball and soccer, and he does a lot of gardening. He also loves eating Chinese food. He is 6 feet and 2 inches.
One of the most interesting things Deane said was about Schenectady. “I try to give back to the community that raised me,” he said.