Fordham Rocks Again With Area Commitment

Reporter Brian Towey has a commitment story on Lance Brown ...

Call Lance Brown superstitious. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound wing and rising senior from Paterson Catholic (N.J.) High School had a pretty good idea of where he wanted to go to college all along, but on Friday, it just felt right.

"My favorite number is 20," said Brown. "My jersey is 20. So I said on June 20th, I'd make a decision."

Fordham received a call from Brown on Friday morning and a verbal commitment from a budding talent out of one of Northern New Jersey's respected high school programs. The wing toughie weighed offers from George Mason, Quinnipiac, and Robert Morris, with a splash of interest from the Atlantic 10.

"The academic part (was big)," said Brown. "They're close to the Ivy League. That was a big factor. I did some research on the (school's academics). The campus is beautiful, and not too big. And I have a great relationship with the coaching staff."

Fordham incoming freshman Jio Fontan, a Paterson native, was key in Brown's decision-making process.

"(Fontan) played a big part," said Brown, who runs with Jimmy Salmon's Playaz in AAU. "Jio and his father, Jorge, they persuaded me well. Jorge actually told (Fordham coach Jared) Grasso about me."

Grasso, a New York native who was instrumentral in bringing St. Anthony standouts Fontan and Alberto Estwick to The Bronx, helped get this one done.

Brown's commitment signals a deeping connection between the Atlantic 10 program and one of the country's more fertile recruiting grounds. And with a slew of talented players at Paterson Catholic in the class of 2010, it's possible that they're not done yet.

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