Two decades ago, Howard Triche starred for Syracuse University's basketball team, coming within an inch of a national championship.
Now another Triche will pursue that same lofty goal.
Brandon Triche, Howard's nephew and a standout at Jamesville-DeWitt for three years, announced Tuesday night that he has made a verbal commitment to SU, beginning with the 2009-10 school year.
Pursued by Big East schools like Georgetown and Connecticut, Triche said he was originally planning on making formal visits to both schools in the weeks ahead.
But after a Sunday-night meeting with SU head coach Jim Boeheim and his long-time assistant, Bernie Fine, Triche said his decision was made final.
From the moment he hit the varsity level at J-D, Triche was the subject of intense interest, and he lived up to the hype, averaging more than 20 points per game and becoming, arguably, the most highly-touted prospect in Central New York.
Then, midway through his sophomore (2006-07) campaign, during a tournament at Christian Brothers Academy, Triche tore his right ACL, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. He was averaging 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists per game at the time he went down.
Without Triche, J-D lost in the Section III Class A semifinals to New Hartford, only making him more determined to return at full strength as a junior in 2007-08 to make proper amends.
Playing with a knee brace most of the season, Triche saw his numbers tail off a bit, to 20.2 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Yet his mere presence, combined with the great work of teammates like Mickey Davis, Alshwan Hymes, Greg Stern and Nick Pascale, helped J-D win both the state and Federation Class A titles, and garnered for Triche State Class A Player of the Year honors.
The recruiting offers for Triche increased -- but only to a point, with many school backing off on the assumption that Triche's family ties to SU would make any pursuit futile.
As it turned out, they were right. Now it is up to Triche to try and lead J-D to another state title this winter -- then take his immense skills a few miles to the west, to the Carrier Dome, and build upon a famous family name.