ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- Alexander Hamilton High School star basketball player Maia Hood signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to attend Lafayette College beginning in the fall.
Hood was surrounded by her parents, family members, teammates, school and district administrators and friends when she donned a Lafayette cap and tee shirt and penned the commitment paperwork.
"I really liked Lafayette because of the great academics and the school being not too far from home," Hood said. "The Lafayette coach (Dianne Nolan) was at the game when I injured my knee and she was very supportive and told me not to worry about anything. That really showed me Lafayette was the right choice."
Hood has been a team leader for the Red Raiders over the past three years and helped lift the team to its first Section 1 Class C championship before sustaining an injury in February. The versatile senior played guard, forward and center during her varsity career. Cynthia and Paul Hood were on hand to see the first of their the daughters make the big move to college.
Lafayette is located in Easton, Pennsylvania and plays in the Division I Patriot League.
"We were impressed with the academics at Lafayette and when we visited we could see Maia really like the campus and the school," Cynthia Hood said. "The proximity of the school (70 miles from New York) is great for us and gives Maia some space away from home."
Paul Hood said the process of choosing a college along with Maia's knee injury and the team's success on the court this winter made things hectic.
"There was a lot going on and Maia handled it very well," Paul Hood said. "We really want to thank everyone who has supported Maia through the years. He coach (Benjamin Carter), teammates, everyone has helped get her here."
Carter said his star player had set a standard for Hamilton girls basketball.
"Maia worked very hard and we pushed her and the team with academics first," Carter said. "We have two more girls (Jasmine Robinson and Tiffany Corselli) who we expect to be playing college ball also. Lafayette will be a greatschool to take her to the next level in her education."
Hamilton Principal Marc Baiocco and Elmsford School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Peters also commended Hood for her hard work and for being a role model for other students-athletes.
"Maia put Hamilton (girls basketball) on the map and we know she is going to be successful at Lafayette," Baiocco said.
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