There was an impressive array of local talent on the Rensselaer High School basketball court June 27.
One on side, there were some of Schenectady's best players including James Thomas, Rashaun Freeman and, in a guest appearance, Willie Dean.
On the other side, Guilderland's Steve Dagostino was playing alongside former Christian Brothers Academy stars Josh Duell and Brian Monahan, Scotia-Glenville graduate Zach Bye and Colonie alumn Anthony Bruin.
This wasn't just some pickup game, though. This was one of three hotly-contested games played that night in the new Capital District Basketball Association's Raise Your Level Invitational.
The people that stayed to watch the 9 p.m. game received a treat as Dagostino and former College of Saint Rose standout Shea Bromirski led Team Bye or Dye to a 71-64 victory over Thomas, Freeman, Dean and the rest of The Patriots. Dagostino slashed his way through The Patriots for several tough layups, while Bromirski popped long three-pointers that would have made another Section II alumna, Jimmer Fredette, proud.
On paper, we may not be the most talented group, but we are the most together group, said Bye, who captains Team Bye or Die. "We're the type of team that will make the extra pass and isn't worried about the box score."
The CDBA " and the Raise Your Level Invitational " is the brainchild of former Schenectady High School basketball player Dave Van Wormer.
"We have some professionals, but most of the guys are college kids," said Van Wormer, who also organized the Southern Saratoga Adult Basketball League.
The list of area talent extends beyond Team Bye or Die and The Patriots. Among the other standouts participating in the Raise Your Level Invitational are Siena College players OD Anosike and Kyle Downey, Albany Academy graduate Chris Pelcher, Voorheesville grad Ethan Mackey and Saint Rose alumna Evan Lane.