Hayward Makes Big East Choice

Lazar Hayward ended his recruitment this week. In the end, he rewarded one program for sticking with him and watching the guard make strides with his game.

Lazar Hayward couldn't pass up this opportunity. Not after where he came from.

The 6-foot-4 ½ Buffalo, N.Y., native, who is spending his second season at Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), went from a guy who was being recruited by small Division 1 schools to a player who committed to one who committed to Marquette on Monday.

``The facilities were great – everything is new," Hayward said. "But the main thing was the chemistry I had right away with the players. That's the most important thing because I'm going to spend four years with those guys."

Hayward committed immediately after returning from an official visit to Marquette this past weekend.

``He liked the way the kids were when he went on the visit," GC Ballers coach Jeff Bishop added. "They are really what sold him on the program. He needs a guy who gets him to play and what's what he'll get at Marquette. He knows he needs a coach that pushes him."

Hayward went from a straight 3-point shooter to a guy that can score in a variety of ways – and he did it in a short period of time.

``The kid deserves this because he's worked so hard," Notre Dame Prep coach Bill Barton said. "The improvement in Lazar's game is mind-boggling. It's incredible. I can't ever remember a kid improvement this much."

Hayward, who played at Buffalo Traditional High (N.Y.) prior to coming to Notre Dame Prep, was also being recruited by UConn, Syracuse, Virginia, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall.

Hayward, who said he would have probably committed to Louisiana-Lafayette if he had committed last year at this time, averaged about a half-dozen points or so through the first 10 games of last season prior to breaking out the last half of the year and averaging about 25 points per contest.

``This really takes a lot of weight off my shoulders," Hayward said. "I'm real happy."

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