Park City’s power forward
For four years, Parkite Daniel Deane made the drive down Parley’s Canyon to another city to attend a Catholic high school. For four years he earned a reputation on the basketball court as a tough, hard-nosed competitor scared of nothing and willing to do anything.
Two years ago, it seemed that every college recruiter in America knew his name, his address and his phone number.
his final year he was the best-known player on the Utah high school hoops scene a household name practically. Yet, for four years, while playing for the Park City high school’s biggest rival Judge Memorial he was barely regarded in his own hometown.
But this year that will all change. This year Deane will don a University of Utah basketball jersey, one not so different from that of his father, Greg, who also played at Utah many years before.
This year will be different. When and if Deane gets the nod to start in a game next season, the announcer will let the arena know that Deane is a six-foot eight-inch freshman from Park City, Utah.
Deane finally gets his city back and he couldn’t be happier about it. Sure Deane likes the coaches and the curriculum at Utah, but mostly he wanted to be able to play where his family and friends could come and see him. He’ s a young man living his life in two cities and he can’t wait to see the two of them come together to cheer him and the rest of the Utes on when basketball season rolls around this winter.
"It’s here. It’s my home. Utah’s a block away from where I went to high school, Deane said.
Deane had other options, many of them far away from mountainous confines of Park City. He was recruited solidly throughout high school from all of the sport’s biggest schools Kansas, Arizona, Gonzaga, Stanford, Wake Forest and North Carolina. But Utah always felt right to him.
"I just knew that’s where I wanted to go, It’s a given for me," Deane said.
Deane will find out exactly what college life at the University of Utah is like very soon. Deane will arrive on campus with five other freshman basketball players two from the U.S. and three international athletes. The three American hoopsters will meet next week, when they start summer classes together.
According to University of Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti, the summer start will allow the young men to get to know one another, acclimate to the campus and the rigors of college life as well as beginning a strength and conditioning regimen.
The early entrance should prove to be a positive for the book-smart Deane, who brings a strong work ethic to both the hardwood and the classroom. Unique to the other players, Deane will also begin in the University honors program, a demanding academic schedule that only made sense after graduating with high honors from Judge Memorial. Giacoletti is glad that Deane will be able to master studying and time management and get six credits under his belt before the demanding practice and game schedule kicks in.
"You look for quality people," Giacoletti said. "He’s a little over the top. We’ll help him along with that.
Deane plans to major in electrical energy and is already preparing himself for the commitment involved with excelling in both athletics and academics.
"It will be tough, but I can get it down," Deane said. "Giacoletti makes sure we’re all in tune with what’s expected."
He’s also feeling pretty comfortable about working into Giacoletti’s program.
"What I like is he doesn’t have a system," Deane said. "He makes a new system to fit the talent he has."
Giacoletti says that he expects his power forwards to play both offense and defense, with emphasis on the defense, and that’s something Deane exhibited in abundance at the prep level.
"Our fours [power forwards] are asked to do a lot of different things. The more versatile are the ones that can be offensive and defensive players," Giacoletti said. "The easiest adjustment to college is focus on defense and rebounding at the basket."
Giacoletti isn’t too worried about Deane fitting in with those demands. He first noticed the muscular, aggressive player the spring before his junior year at a tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. and was very impressed that such a young player could play so hard.
"You just don’t find that," Giacoletti said. "He has something that has been lost in our society."
And Deane only got better. He earned nearly every award a high school player could en route to winning a 3A state championship with the Judge Bulldogs his senior year.
"We couldn’t be more excited that he will play here," Giacoletti said. "He has the physical tools and a great work ethic."
At Judge, under legendary coach John Yerkovich, Deane became known for his ability to use his powerful body to draw charges, grab offensive and defensive boards and basically frustrate any player matched up with him.
"I haven’t been bedazzled by anyone I’ve ever played against. I’ve held my own," Deane said.
That tenacity is exactly what Giacoletti is looking for. He has three postings in the locker room after games that record the number of rebounds, assists and charges each Ute player racked up. He says he expects Deane to lead in charges.
"Yerkovich says that he is the best rebounder he’s ever had," Giacoletti said amazed considering the Bulldog coach’s illustrious 40-year career.
Deane gleaned many of his hard-working tools from his parents who supported him and believed that he could achieve all of his goals in high school and make it to the next level.
"I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them, that’s for sure," Deane said.
Giacoletti says that Deane will have an opportunity to work himself into the starting rotation from day one. When school starts, the evaluation process will start and Deane can begin proving himself. But Giacoletti doesn’t want to put too much pressure on Deane early on, he only asks that he plays his best for team and continues to grow as a player.
"You develop a "we " attitude. What the individual can bring to the team," Giacoletti said. "The sky’s the limit for Daniel as long as he keeps the work ethic that his parents drove into him."
"He’s got so much going for him, I think anything he puts his mind to he can accomplish," Giacoletti said. "There’s opportunities that are very unique that separate him from everyone else."
– Region 10 MVP
– 3A State Tournament MVP
– Gatorade Player of the Year
– Adidas Superstar Camp All-Star team
– ACIT All-Tournament team, Slam Dunk Contest 2nd place
– National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp Best Defender, team took 1st place
– Adidas Super 64 All-Tournament team
– Adidas Charlie Webber Memorial Day Classic All-Tournament team
– Utah High School Basketball Coaches Association All-Star, Slam-Dunk Champion
– Judge Memorial Outstanding Male Athlete, Yerkovich Commitment to "We" Award
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Some Parkites long for the 1990s. Others in Park City prefer the first decade of the 2000s, Mayor Andy Beerman found during interactive polling that was an element of his recent State of the City address.