Former Schenectady basketball star brings message of 'LOVE' to school

Dan Levy & WNYT Staff
Updated: January 17, 2020 04:49 PM
Created: January 17, 2020 01:39 PM

SCHENECTADY - A former Schenectady basketball star is bringing a message of love to an area school.

Willie Deane was at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary on Friday morning - touting his message - and his new book.


A generation ago, Deane became a local basketball legend after leading his Schenectady High School Patriots to a state championship.

He has returned to his hometown not necessarily as a sports hero, but rather as an accomplished author.

He read to them the book he wrote, entitled "LOVE," which was inspired by his own two daughters, intended to lift and encourage others.

In reading to the children, looking into their faces, he sees himself and remembers the person who taught him a valuable lesson that made a huge difference in his life.

"I had a teacher from King School by the name of Ms. Walker who was very influential in encouraging me to develop a passion for reading," said King.

It was that encouragement, Deane says, that enabled him to earn a degree from Purdue University, and then earn a living playing professional basketball in 15 countries, an adventure that serendipitously lead him from the layup line to the literary world of children's authors. All of a sudden, a buzzer-beater wasn't as important as being a positive role model.

Hear more about why Deane says it's so important to encourage kids to follow their dreams, by watching the video of Dan Levy's story.

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