The Patterson School in North Carolina has sent dozens of players to Division I colleges. A former Pittsburgh City League star looks like he'll be the next.
Deandre Kane, who played at Schenley High the past three seasons, is excelling at the prep school and has Division I scholarship offers. Kane said earlier this week he will choose from Pitt, Seton Hall and Marquette. All three have offered him scholarships.
Kane, a 6-foot-4 guard, denied an Internet report that he had made a verbal commitment to Seton Hall after visiting the school a few weeks ago.
"I'll probably wait until April to decide," Kane said.
Kane said he is averaging more than 20 points a game for Patterson, which is one of the top prep school programs in the country.
Kane decided to attend the prep school to improve his grades and also to hopefully catch the attention of more colleges. He said he is academically qualified to be eligible as a freshman next season.
Some Patterson products are playing at Memphis, Xavier, LSU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Seton Hall, Arkansas and Tennessee. Arkansas freshman guard Courtney Fortson, who had the school's second triple-double earlier this year, is a former Patterson player. So is Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell, who was the Big East player of the week earlier this season.
Patterson coach Chris Chaney has had eight NBA draft picks play for him over the years.
"The school has been good in preparing me for college next year," Kane said. "It was good to get away, too."
Kane led all WPIAL and City League scorers last season with an average of 31.1 points.
"I think I'm better than last year. I'm bigger," said Kane, who now weighs 193 pounds.
Besides going to Seton Hall, Kane also made an official visit to Pitt a few weeks ago. He also plans to visit Marquette.
Pitt stepped up its recruitment of Kane after 6-5 guard Dominic Cheek of Saint Anthony (N.J.) recently announced he will attend Villanova. Cheek was considering Pitt.
If Kane selects Pitt, one of the current players or an incoming freshman would have to leave because Pitt would be over the NCAA's scholarship limit.
Kane likes his hometown team, but said he is not totally sure where he stands in the eyes of the Panthers' coaches.
"I want to stay home, but Pitt doesn't contact me a lot. I don't talk to them a lot, like I do the other schools," Kane said. "I don't know how much they want me."
No matter if Kane chooses Pitt, Seton Hall or Marquette, he will be in the Big East Conference next season. And that only enhances the reputation of the 2007 Schenley team.
How many teams from the WPIAL and City League have had two Division I players in the starting lineup in the past quarter century? Not many. Now consider this: Schenley had three future Big East players on the '07 team that won the PIAA Class AAAA title.
DeJuan Blair is a standout at Pitt and D.J. Kennedy is the second-leading scorer at St. John's with a 12.9 points per game average. They were seniors on the 2007 team when Kane was a junior.
T.J. times two
Two of the more entertaining boys' basketball teams to watch this season are Chartiers Valley and Serra Catholic. They both play a fast-paced game, with Serra leading the WPIAL in scoring at 81.1 points a game, and Chartiers Valley second at 79.1.
The funny thing is both have a standout T.J. on the roster. For Serra, senior guard T.J. Heatherington averages more than 20 points a game. For Chartiers Valley, junior guard T.J. McConnell (Duquesne University recruit) leads the team in scoring and is one of the best 3-point shooters in the WPIAL.
Hall is back
Rumors have been circulating around Jeannette on the status of senior guard Jordan Hall, who missed three games recently for personal reasons. But Jeannette coach Jim Nesser said Hall is back with the team.
"We're looking forward to him playing the rest of the season," Nesser said.
Hall was the top returning scorer from a Jeannette team that won WPIAL and PIAA Class AA titles last season.
"As time has gone on, other kids have really meshed together," Nesser said. "As a unit, we're playing really, really well right now. I'm more surprised every day because we're better than I thought we'd be. Can we challenge for a championship? That remains to be seen."
Gateway's Dorian Bell and Corey Brown will be on national television tomorrow, playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
The game features the top players in the country and Bell and Brown will play for the East team that is being coached by Gateway coach Terry Smith. The game begins at 1 p.m. and will be televised by NBC.
Kiski Area and Plum have hired new football coaches -- and didn't have to look far to find them. Kiski Area hired Troy Wilson, who had been a Cavaliers assistant the past five years. He also played at Kiski Area. Plum hired Frank Sacco, who had been an assistant the past 15 years. He also played at Plum.
Mike White can be reached at mwhite@Post-Gazette.com or at 412-263-1975.