Archbishop Stepinac senior Thomas Decker takes pride in his leadership skills, always having a team-first mentality.
"He's a leader on the court, as far as his attitude and positive demeanor go," Stepinac
As captain of the Crusaders, Decker does his best to keep a positive environment no matter the situation.
"I loosen the team up when it gets intense," said Decker, this week's Con Ed Athlete of the Week award winner. "It's important to keep the fun in the game. It's supposed to be fun at the high school level; it's not a job."
Decker has all of the intangibles , which helps make him a complete player on the court.
"He is very smart ... he has a high basketball IQ and is very crafty with the ball," Philp said. "It seems like he never has a bad game."
Decker was asked what he loved most about the game.
"I love the team aspect and camaraderie, developing relationships on and off the court," he said.
Decker helps keep his teammates focused, whether it be during practice, a game, or on the bus ride. He keeps everyone together, further promoting team unity.
"Our team as a whole and our coaches did a lot in the spring and summer," he said. "Last year we had a good season, but it took a while to bond with each other. This year we are comfortable playing as a team. We had five scrimmages before our first game, which helped a lot."
Through the first three games of the 2009-10 season, Decker has averaged 11 points, six assists, and two steals, shooting 60 percent from the field and beyond the arc.
"The main goal is to win the city championship," Decker said. "We fell a little short last year and I don't want to have that same taste in my mouth. That would be by far the best goal."
The Crusaders last season lost in the semifinals to Bishop
"I just want to enjoy myself in my last high school year," he said. "You only go through high school once."
In addition to his athletics, Decker is a member of the National Honor Society and president's club, a freshman ambassador, and tutors underclassmen at Stepinac.
Decker plans to continue his basketball career at SUNY Geneseo. He knew Geneseo was right for him after his visit to the school on Oct. 24, when he stayed overnight and also attended a Knights basketball practice.
"It's a great academic school, that's always a first," Decker said. "The atmosphere is great for me. (Steve Minton) is a great coach and a tremendous person. We talk every week on the phone."
Decker hopes to sign his letter of intent next week.