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Arre brings a 'world of experience' to Baldwin basketball program

| Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, 9:05 p.m.

It's common to hear it said that a coach brings a “world of experience” to his team.

But, in the case of Bill Arre, that phrase is literally true.

Arre is a former Thomas Jefferson and Lock Haven basketball whiz who served as an assistant in the Jaguars' basketball program the past two seasons.

Prior to that, Arre played professionally for four years in Luxembourg with and against players from across the world.

“It was completely amazing,” Arre said. “It's four years I wouldn't trade for anything.”

The 6-foot-5 Arre was a star in his days with TJ, graduating in 2005 as the boys' basketball all-time leading scorer.

He went on to play at Lock Haven, where he finished as the school's all-time leading scorer and racked up numerous conference and national honors in the process.

That performance opened doors for him to play professionally in Europe.

“It was a very high level of competition,” Arre said, explaining that teams were made up of players from all over the world, including just one or two Americans per team, due to league rules. “Just to be able to get paid and make a living playing basketball, it was a dream come true.”

And it wasn't just the basketball that was memorable.

“To be able to travel like that. We played preseason games in places like France and Belgium,” Arre said. “Just the exposure to different languages, different cultures. It was amazing.

“People in these towns in Luxembourg grew up following these teams. It's not that big of a country, so no matter where you go, there were people who know who you are. You were pretty well respected.”

While he relished the experience, the travel became cumbersome. Arre would spend eight to nine months per year in Luxembourg then return home each summer.

“I enjoyed the basketball,” he said,”but the travel — 4,000 miles and coming home only for Christmas — it got tough. You miss your friends and family. I decided it was time to start my own life at home. Get established here.”

That led him to back to coaching.

While in Luxembourg, Arre's contracts required him to coach youth basketball, something he loved.

“I always thought about getting into coaching,” he said. “Being in that position of playing professionally, I always wanted to come back and help out and see progress at our high school.”

Arre called TJ boys' coach Dom DeCicco, who welcomed him with open arms.

“I want to be around basketball somehow,” Arre said.

Brian Knavish is a freelance writer.

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