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MTHS senior to play Division I hoops

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Middle Township's Lauryn Fields will play college basketball at Division I Savannah State Middle Township High School senior guard Lauryn Fields will play Division I college basketball.

Fields, a 5-3 point guard who was named the area girls basketball MVP this season by the Gazette and Leader newspapers, has made a verbal commitment to attend Savannah State University on scholarship.

Fields had also received a scholarship offer from Maryland-Eastern Shore. Norfolk State, NJIT, High Point and Western Michigan had also shown interest.

“It was amazing down there,” said Fields, who took an official visit to the Georgia school about 10 days ago. “It was so beautiful, the weather was great and I really kind of got that family feeling when I got around the team and the campus. Everything is beautiful, everything was nice and I really connected with the coaches, especially coach (Cedric) Baker. I’m definitely looking forward to spending four years down South at Savannah State.”

Fields averaged 18.7 points per game as a senior and finished her career with 1,692 points, good for fifth all-time among Cape May County high school girls basketball players. She was a starter on Middle’s 2012 South Jersey Group II championship team as a sophomore and led the Lady Panthers to sectional title game appearances in each of the last two seasons. She also fueled this season’s Lady Panther run to the Cape-Atlantic League championship when she posted 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in a comeback victory over Wildwood Catholic in the CAL title game.

Savannah State is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Tigers finished 19-14 overall, 10-6 in conference games, during the 2013-14 season. They reached the semifinal round of the MEAC Tournament. The team's 19 wins were a program record since joining the Division I level in 2002-03.

Five of the team’s seniors, all guards, are scheduled to graduate.

“That was a big part of my decision, where I could make the biggest impact as a freshman and for the years to come,” Fields said. “I feel as though I can be an intricate part of the team and make an impact as soon as I get there. Obviously nothing’s going to be handed to me. It’s going to be a challenge. But I’m ready to accept that challenge.

“This was a long journey, a long process, and it was very stressful. But I had a great support system with my team and my school and my coaches and my family and I knew it was going to work out. Picking a school was the hardest decision of my life. To have two offers and to have to decide where to get my education and play basketball was hard. But now that it’s over I’m very happy with my decision. I’m really excited. Now it’s time to go to work and do whatever it takes to be successful down there in Georgia.”

Founded in 1890, Savannah State is one of the oldest historically black public colleges in the country.

Fields, a third team state Group II all-star by the Newark Star-Ledger, is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent later this month.

Fields said she plans to major in psychology at Savannah State.

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