Lacey James to play hoops for NCAA Division 1 Rider (N.J.)

Lacey James3Wayland all-state basketball player Lacey James is expected to sign a letter of intent Wednesday to play at NCAA Division 1 Rider University of New Jersey.

The 6-7 pivot James, top scorer and rebounder for the Wildcats this past season and last, originally was set to play for the University of Detroit, but he withdrew last winter and since then had been shopping around for what he might determine is a better fit.

James went through a difficult summer a year ago when he at first was diagnosed with a heart problem, but last August eventually was cleared to play for his senior season by the Mayo Clinic. He led Wayland to a 19-4 overall finish and in March 2014 was a huge factor in the team’s district and regional championships.

The Wildcats this season bowed out in the district finals, losing to eventual state Class B champion Wyoming Godwin Heights.

James finished the season with a 20 points per game scoring average and he grabbed 15 rebounds a game. Besides being an all-state selection in Class B, he was one of a dozen candidate finalists for Mr. Basketball.

Other schools that gave James serious consideration included Cleveland State, Rhode Island University, Wagner University, Vermont University, Fairfield University, the University of Niagara, the University of Northern Illinois, Cornerstone University, Jacksonville University, Iowa State, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Rider located in Lawrenceville, N.J., finished with a 21-12 overall record last season, and was 15-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

James indicated he had seriously considered Cornerstone, where Wildcat teammate Dilon Aten will attend, Grand Valley and Aquinas.

PHOTO: Lacey James (Courtesy Kenny Ritz)


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