Aaron Gray and Brant Weidner were inside forces.
Parkland's Weidner teamed with former Whitehall standout and current DeSales University coach Scott Coval at William & Mary before getting a cup of coffee in the NBA.
Catasauqua's Larry Miller was a terrific shooter and once held the ABA single-game scoring record.
Palmerton's Bill Mlkvy owned the coolest nickname of any previous Lehigh Valley product who was an NBA Draft pick — The Owl without a Vowel.
Colgate's glory years in the Patriot League can be traced back to the dominant combination of power and athleticism that was Adonal Foyle. He earned an NBA paycheck for a dozen years.
What happens after Thursday's 2013 NBA Draft should change the local basketball landscape as Lehigh graduate C.J. McCollum is not only a projected lottery pick (1st 14 picks), but could be an immediate impact player with a lengthy pro career.
McCollum's athleticism and skill set are topped only by his work ethic … and personality.
I have covered the Patriot League the last 14 years. I have witnessed courtside all three of the league's NCAA Tournament victories (Bucknell in 2005-06, Lehigh in 2012).
I saw every one of Bucknell's wins during its unprecedented 14-0 regular season in 2006. That Bison team remains, in my opinion, the best club in league history.
For the last four years, I have had the pleasure of covering who I feel is league's best player of all-time in McCollum.
No offense to Bucknell product Mike Muscala, who also should hear his name called during Thursday's NBA Draft from Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The 7-footer, in my opinion, is the best big man in league history.
McCollum was a two-time player of the year, three-time all-tournament team selection and the league's all-time leading scorer.
But he is so much more than that. Former American coach Jeff Jones said McCollum could have been the league's best passer or defensive player if that was what was asked of him.
Instead, he is the league's all-time best because he can do it all: Tremendous court vision. Aggressive and instinctive on-ball defender. Solid rebounder. Fearless scorer for all angles and distances inside 25 feet.
McCollum willed the Mountain Hawks to victory on several nights and was a tremendous leader. He was the one who dragged teammates to late-night shootarounds and led his team through a sluggish practice. He was encouraging and inspirational with his words, but a leader by example.
And, believe it or not, he is humble. Confident? Absolutely. A little flamboyant (i.e.: waving his arms at Pitt's raucous Zoo Crew) at times? Sure. Cocky? Nope.
When I asked him about becoming the league's all-time leading scorer a few moments after he did so in torching host Sacred Heart last November, his response was: "Oh, I didn't know I broke it."
McCollum was never about individual statistics or achievement. Team wins were all that mattered.
That is why it will be a night to remember when Lehigh gets around to retiring his No. 3 jersey to the rafters at Stabler Arena.