Kaela Hilaire wanted to be a Pirate from the get-go.
Now, after rescinding her commitment to Albany, the Newsday girls basketball player of the year will be. Hilaire tweeted on April 16 that she had “committed to Seton Hall University,” with the accompanying hashtag “SecondTimeAround.”
“I’m glad Seton Hall offered me,” Hilaire said, explaining that SHU was her first choice. “I wanted to go there before I committed but they just never offered, so it’s pretty exciting now.”
A native of Floral Park, N.Y., the Long Islander originally planned on attending school in upstate New York. Hilaire was committed to Albany, but the point guard was granted her release after Great Danes coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson took a job in the Sunshine State at the University of Central Florida.
A free agent recruit once again, Hilaire still had her sights set on South Orange.
Seton Hall had recruited her before her commitment, but Hilaire said there were “no hard feelings” when the Pirates never made an offer.
The process played out differently the second time around, with SHU beating out Towson and Rhode Is- land for Hilaire’s services.
“He said he didn’t have a decision and I wanted to commit early,” Hilaire said, describing a case of bad timing between herself and Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella at the start of her recruitment. “I just wanted to get out of the process, so I wanted to commit as soon as I could.”
Hilaire led all of Long Island in scoring last year with 29.8 points per game as she propelled Floral Park Memorial to a Long Island championship.
A two-time Newsday All-Long Island team player and two-time Nassau County Player of the Year, Hilaire joined the 1,000-point club during her junior campaign.
Now, as she prepares for her final year of high school, the commit knows she will wind up exactly where she wanted to be all along.
Gary Phillips can be reached at email@example.com. edu or on Twitter @GaryHPhillips.