Written by Bryan Messerly
Lee Patrone, a native of Bellaire, Ohio, was a three-year letterman for the men’s basketball team from 1959-61, serving as captain of the 1961 team.
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Patrone came to West Virginia in 1957 after a brief stay at Ohio State and led the 1958 freshman team in scoring with a 20-point norm. A member of the 1959 NCAA runner-up team, he was second to Jerry West in 1960 in scoring with a 14.2 per game average and was named to three all-tournament teams: NCAA Regional, Southern Conference and University of Kentucky.
As a senior, he was a third team All-America honoree by the Helms Foundation. Patrone earned two All-Southern Conference First Team honors and was a three-time selection to the Southern Conference All-Tournament teams.
For his career, he scored 1,028 points and handed out 210 assists. As a senior, Patrone averaged 14.6 points and had a career-best 34 points against William & Mary. The Mountaineers compiled a 78-14 record during his career.
In high school, the two-time, All-OVAC First Team honoree by the Associated Press as a senior, had 57 career games with more than 20 points at Bellaire High. He earned All-Ohio First Team honors in 1956 after his senior season and for 50 years, he was the all-time leading scorer at Bellaire with 1,842 points in three seasons.
Patrone was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the sixth round of the 1961 NBA Draft.
After graduation, he taught and coached five seasons at Wintersville High (Ohio). Patrone was the recipient of the Carnegie Hero Foundation Award in 1960 after saving a woman from drowning in the Ohio River. After retiring, he relocated to his current home in Miami Beach, Fla.
Patrone and his wife, Barbara, have three children, Tammy, Janie, and Lee Jr., and are the grandparents to five -- Victoria Patrone, Alexandria and Samantha Reese and Brittany and Joshua Fayne.