Photo submitted Todd Cetnar speaks during his induction into the University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
By ADAM SHINDER
Todd Cetnar dreamed about a lot of things growing up playing on the basketball courts of Amsterdam. What he'll do Sunday night wasn't one of them.
"When you're a kid, you dream about making buzzer-beater shots, winning championships, playing Division I. Those types of thoughts always go through your mind," Cetnar said. "One thing you never think about is giving a hall of fame induction speech."
But, for the second time in less than a year, that's exactly what he'll be doing as Cetnar joins the sixth class of the Upstate New York Basketball Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn. It'll be Cetnar's second Hall of Fame induction in 10 months, as in September 2013 the former Amsterdam High School star took his place in the University at Albany Great Dane Hall of Fame for his accomplishments during his college career.
Sunday's honor, however, encompasses Cetnar's entire basketball life -- his record-setting high school career playing under his father, Rick, for the Amsterdam Running Rams, his time at UAlbany as the program transitioned to NCAA Division I competition and his distinguished professional career in Europe.
"It takes you back to not only your high school days, but everything you did as a kid to get you where you are, all the way to beyond college and the four to five years I played in Europe," Cetnar said. "This one here, it's a culmination of my entire career."
Cetnar starred at Amsterdam in the mid-1990s, and still stands as the school's all-time leader with 1,621 points and 577 assists. He then headed to UAlbany for college as the program was making the leap from Division II to Division I and scored 1,345 points before graduating in 2000 -- which still sits in the top 15 on the Great Danes' all-time ledger. He also remains one of UAlbany's all-time leaders in steals, assists, 3-pointers made and free throw percentage.
From there, he spent several years playing professionally in Europe, including a strong stint as one of the top scorers in England's National Basketball League. Sunday, Cetnar said he'll be honored that his name will now be enshrined among the Capital District's hoops elite, including several friends of his -- among them his college coach Richard "Doc" Sauers, UAlbany teammate Jason Graber, Watervliet's Andre Cook, Union College's Bill Scanlon, former Siena College coach and Amsterdam resident Mike Deane and Glens Falls' Jimmer Fredette.
"The thing that makes me most proud is that it's a Capital District hall of fame," Cetnar said. "You can count on your hands how many people have come out of the Capital Region -- or Amsterdam, for that matter -- and played Division I, played professionally, was in NBA summer league camps. To be honored for that, for me, it just rendered that the Capital District community felt that I was a piece of that great tradition here in Section II. I'm very honored and humbled by it."
He concluded: "These are all great players, coaches and even better people that now I'm forever linked with."
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