Fairfield benefited from a previous relationship. Assistant coach Carmen Maciariello, a former staffer at Siena and vice president with the Albany City Rocks, recruited Fields hard.
"I think it pushed it forward as a comfort thing," Albany City Rocks coach Jim Hart said. "Carm was the first connection so there's an instant comfort. Fairfield had been recruiting prior to Carm going there but it just made it easier to talk to them. They fell in love with Coach Cooley and that kicked it in."
Fields, a speedy guard who can get to the rim, has grown on and off the court this season. He's helping lead one of the top teams in New York state.
"Jamel's lucky because his high school coach is the best in the area," Hart said. "Jamel's maturing from last year to this year is a tribute to his high school coach. He's playing so good now. He's getting really good. He handles himself well and he's a good kid."