2010 ACC Men's Basketball Legends: Harold Deane, Virginia
Feb. 2, 2010
The 2010 ACC Basketball Legends class is a group of 12 former standout players - one from each ACC school - who will be honored during the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament. TheACC.com will feature two members of the ACC Legends Class each week during the six weeks prior to the tournament.
The annual ACC Legends Brunch will be held on Saturday, March 13 beginning at 10 a.m. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, the ACC Men's Basketball Legends Brunch will be held in the in the Guilford Ballroom of the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel.
The game of basketball has given former University of Virginia men's basketball great Harold Deane many things. After traveling the world, Deane has returned home to Virginia where he is giving back to the community through the game that has provided him so much.
Born in Petersburg, Va., Deane was introduced to the game of basketball at an early age. His father, who was a long-time referee at the high school and college level, would always take him to games and let him shoot around at halftime.
He played in his first organized league at Zion Baptist then at the age of 14, when Deane was entering his freshman year of high school, he began playing basketball in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) for the Richmond Metro Gold.
"Those were some good experiences because it was a more open setting and a lot of talent was there," Deane said. "We traveled to Las Vegas my first year in AAU ball and I saw a lot of great talent, and that helped me step my game up to see what I needed to improve on and what I could add to my game. AAU was a really good experience for me nationally so I could see where I and our team stood amongst other good players and good teams."
Out of Matoaca High School, Deane wasn't heavily recruited until he played in the 17 and under AAU tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C. He started to get some looks from ACC schools, but by that time he had already committed to attend Fork Union Military Academy. His decision to go to Virginia was sparked while he was attending Fork Union in part because of his mentor, basketball coach and former UVa player, Fletcher Arritt.
"He felt that Virginia would be a good school for me to attend, not just on the basketball side, but socially and academically as well," Deane said. "It came down to Clemson, the University of Kansas, Virginia and Richmond."
Deane admits that a big factor in his final decision was that he always wanted to go to UVa because he grew up watching former Cavalier greats such as Ralph Sampson, Othell Wilson, Ricky Stokes and Bryant Stith.
"I was always fascinated by the way those guys played the game," Deane said. "One of my dreams was to play in the ACC and when that opportunity came, I jumped at it right away."
Once at Virginia, many of the upperclassmen on Deane's team helped him out by taking him under their wings. Deane is quick to credit their help as a major part of his success as a Cavalier.
He was always a guy who learned from others, but prided himself as being the first one at practice and the last to leave. Deane always wanted to be the hardest working guy out there and that's what made him so great. Success at Virginia came quickly and by his second game, he was thrust into the starting role - a role he would remain in for the rest of his UVa career.
In his four years at Virginia, Deane became one of the greatest Cavalier point guards to ever take the court at University Hall. He ranks near the top of many Virginia scoring categories and finished his career ranked ninth on the all-time scoring list (1,763) and second in career three-point field goals (237).
In 1995-96 Deane led the Cavaliers in points (451), scoring average (16.7) and three point percentage (.344), while leading the team in free throw percentage and steals all four years at UVa as well as assists in his final three. In 1994-95, Deane helped lead Virginia to a tie for first place in the ACC regular season and capped it off with a historic run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament - where he was named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team. Virginia finished the year as one of the nation's top teams, ranked eighth by USA Today/CNN and 13th by the Associated Press.
Looking back, Deane is very grateful for his time at Virginia and the opportunities he received as not only an athlete, but a student as well.
"Virginia is a great school and I'm very proud to be an alumnus of UVa. I've always followed UVa basketball and I've always been a fan of UVa basketball. I was hoping that one day I would get the opportunity to play there. When that opportunity came I took advantage of it and Virginia has done a lot of great things for me as a person," Deane said. "It was just a very good place to go to school and I would recommend to anybody who has the opportunity to go to a school like that, to take advantage of it because it really changes people's lives."
After leaving Virginia, Deane got a chance to see the world by playing basketball professionally in Italy, Germany and Russia. He ended up back at Matoaca High School where he coached tennis and basketball, then went back overseas to play in Portugal before returning to the United States to play in a couple minor professional basketball leagues.
Now Deane stays around the game that he loves by focusing his efforts on training younger athletes through basketball camps to teach younger players some of the things that he learned along the way.
"When you know that people are learning and they want knowledge, and they want to be better, you want to be able to give that to them because people have done that for me," Deane said. "When I was younger there were people that showed me how to do certain things and help me become the player and person that I am today. Without those people in my life when I was younger I would have never achieved and gone to the heights that I did. I just feel like I need to do the same thing because I'm in the position to help."