Deandre Kane (Getty Images)
Kane has found a way to salvage his reputation in Huntington, however, by writing a thank you letter to the city's newspaper.
In an eloquent letter published in Sunday's edition of the Times-Dispatch, Kane called Huntington his "second home" and said he will miss the town even though he's looking forward to a fresh start. The Pittsburgh native will finish his career at Iowa State after three all-league seasons for the Thundering Herd.
"I used to always think that basketball was everything, but after working with my teachers, coaches, and new family here in Huntington, I now realize that life is much more," Kane wrote.
"I know that things didn't end here the way I wanted them to and I apologize for not leading the team to the NCAA Tournament because this city deserves it. What I do promise though is to bring something back to this community better than a basketball championship -- hope and fun for the kids. Whether I play pro basketball or just become a business man, I'll continue to contribute to the youth in this area once I get my career.
"Thanks to Marshall University and the Athletic Department for giving me my first college opportunity. Thanks to the coaching staff that helped me through the years develop as a player and thank you to all of my teammates. I wish my brothers good luck next season and hope they can bring the C-USA title home."
If Kane's gesture sounds familiar, that's because he's the second prominent Huntington athlete to pen a letter to the community in recent weeks. Huntington Prep's Andrew Wiggins, the nation's No. 1 recruit, published a similar thank you letter in the Times-Dispatch after he graduated from high school.
What makes Kane's letter even more remarkable is that he wasn't the beloved figure that Wiggins was in the community. Since Kane was the face of a Marshall program that was among the most disappointing in the nation last season, he became a lightning rod for criticism, especially as his shooting dipped to 40.3 percent and questions about his attitude continued to dog him.
By writing his letter, Kane took the high road and gave the Huntington community reason to remember him fondly. It's a gesture other college athletes with checkered reputations would be wise to repeat.
(Thanks, College Basketball Talk)
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