Basketball: Pitman's Stafford commits to Lafayette


By Phil Anastasia

Eric Stafford is one of South Jersey's most cerebral basketball players.

The rising Pitman senior took the same thoughtful, analytical approach to the recruiting process.

"My dad and I analyzed every aspect," Stafford said Friday night, confirming his decision to commit to attend Lafayette College on a basketball scholarship.

Stafford said Lafayette's proximity to Pitman as well as the school's strong reputation in both basketball and academics were major factors in his decision.

Lafayette, a member of the Patriot League, is located in Easton, Pa.

Stafford also said his decision was based on his relationship with veteran Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon, who is entering his 19th season with the Leopards.

"Coach O'Hanlon has done so well for so long," Stafford said. "I know he's going to be there my whole career."

A top student, Stafford said he was undecided about a major but leaning toward economics or engineering.

The 6-foot-4 Stafford averaged 17 points as a junior as Pitman went 24-6 and reached the South Jersey Group 1 title game.

He is the second Pitman player to make a college commitment this summer. Rusing junior Tim Delaney committed to Villanova in June.

Stafford said he was "relieved" to make a college decision. He also had offers from La Salle, Loyola (Md.), Binghampton and American.

-- Phil Anastasia

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