Five all-decade teams, a whole lot of research and feedback, and here it is: the 50th anniversary All-time All-Western New York boys basketball team.
I wrote the story in today's paper after a group of us at the News decided who from the all-decade teams was worthy of the same kind of team we put together every year, and the same kind of team we picked for each decade: 20 players, divided into first, second, third and fourth teams.
And like with every All-WNY team, and the all-decade teams -- it wasn't easy. And not everyone will agree -- but that's the fun part of debating the best in basketball every season, and for all seasons.
Those were preliminary tournaments of a sort. But in picking the all-time team we had no quotas or qualifications. We went with the best players, and the 1970s (seven) and 80s (seven) tied with the most. The other three decades had three all-time selections apiece, all of whom are included in the top 15.
The years listed are the seasons that the player made first team.
Curtis Aiken, Bennett 1981-82, '82-83
Paul Harris, Niagara Falls, 2003-04, '04-05
Christian Laettner, Nichols 1986-87, '87-88
Bob Lanier, Bennett 1965-66
Mel Montgomery, Kensington 1969-70, '70-71
Ritchie Campbell, Burgard 1988-89, '89-90
George Carter, Silver Creek 1960-61, '61-62
Mike Russell, East 1973-74
Dwight Williams, Neumann 1974-75
Tim Winn, LaSalle 1993-94, '94-95, '95-96
Gary Bossert, Kenmore West 1981-82, '82-83
Aaron Curry, Neumann 1975-76
Jonny Flynn, Niagara Falls, 2005-06, '06-07
Jason Rowe, Traditional 1993-94, '94-95, '95-96
Jimmy "Bug" Williams, East 1971-72, '72-73
Ray Hall, McKinley 1979-80, '80-81
Tony Kelly, Lackawanna 1979-80, '80-81, '81-82
Keith Robinson, Grover Cleveland 1984-85, '85-86
Chuck Threeths, Lackawanna 1974-75, '75-76
Rickey Williams, Timon 1973-74
Let the debating begin ...