Chuck Landon: Story of Kane goes from good to better
There’s no middle ground with DeAndre Kane.
People either like him or don’t.
Some fans appreciate the innate talent, desire and competitiveness of Marshall’s star guard.
They are turned off by Kane’s sometimes tumultuous and often demonstrative behavior.
The unfortunate aspect of this like/dislike scenario is it has led to several misconceptions. There are those fans who consider Kane self-serving and immature.
Consequently, those people have a tendency to short-change him and not give Kane the credit he deserves.
Here’s a suggestion to those fans.
Better sit down because what you are about to read is going to make your heads spin.
Kane likely will have earned his degree in Business Management before his senior year begins in late August 2013.
Get in line.
Some Herd fans believed hell would freeze over or Marshall actually would receive an NCAA Tournament bid before Kane walked across a commencement stage wearing a cap and gown.
Think again, folks, because he is indeed on-course to graduate in four years.
“Yes, I am,” he said proudly. “It’s great. I’m happy. I know my mom (Carol Robinson) is happy. I know my father (the late Calvin Kane) would be happy.
“I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college. I’m the only person to go to college, other than my father (a former basketball star at Lamar).
“So, it’s great. I just hope I continue this pace to graduate.”
Kane has come too far to slack off now.
Remember, this is a guy who went to The Patterson School after starring at Schenley High School in Pittsburgh because he needed a prep school to help with his grades. And even then, he was red-shirted during his freshman year at Marshall due to being a partial-qualifier academically.
So, obviously, being diligently committed to academics wasn’t first nature for Kane.
“My attitude has changed a whole lot,” he admitted. “When I first got here, I hated class. I didn’t care. Skipped it. Since Coach (Tom) Herrion and his staff came here, it has just been great.
“They preach education first. And make sure I am in class every day on time. They have helped me get tutors and things like that for help. So, it’s good.”
Doesn’t Kane sound more mature?
That’s because he is.
“Yeah, I’m growing up,” he said with a grin. “I’m getting older. I’m 23 years old now. And I want different things in life. I have a family to take care of. I know I have a goal to reach and I’ve got to grow up.”
The proof is in the diploma that’s dangling a year away.
“I know some people will be surprised,” said Kane. “A lot of people think I don’t go to class and all that. They think I get special privileges.
“But, nah, I get my work done.”
That’s how it has been since Herrion arrived. Marshall’s third-year coach is the catalyst for Kane’s academic metamorphosis.
“As soon as Coach got here, everything changed,” said Kane. “I’ve known him since I was a kid. He knew what was right. He helped me out a lot. He could talk to me in different ways that other people couldn’t because I’ve known him so long. It has been good.”
So good, Kane can’t quit beaming with pride.
“I love it,” he said. “It is something to be proud of. Graduating a year early? That’s great.”
So is the message it sends.
Don’t underestimate DeAndre Kane.
Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.