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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Hoops Recruiting Report
Thursday, January 19, 2006

By Thad Mumau

Jack Britt star brings athleticism to frontcourt


John Fields didn’t take long to make his decision about which college to attend. He liked what East Carolina basketball coach Ricky Stokes had to say, and so he picked the Pirates.

The 6-9 forward from Fayetteville (NC) Jack Britt High School committed to ECU in early September, then signed with the Pirates in November. He also had scholarship offers from UNC-Wilmington, Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop, UNC-Greensboro, North Carolina A&T, The Citadel and Elon.

“He didn’t even take a visit,” Britt coach Ike Walker, Jr., said. “He was very impressed with Coach Stokes. John grew up reading and hearing about the Atlantic Coast Conference, and he had always thought about schools in that league. But if you aren’t going to the ACC, East Carolina is the next best thing.”

Fields averaged 17.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots in his junior season, which was spent at Fayetteville Academy, a private school. He hit 62 percent of his field goal attempts and 54.2 percent of his free throws.

He scored a season-high 29 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in addition to blocking five shots as Fayetteville Academy rallied for a 79-72 win over Charlotte Hickory Grove in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Plains Independent Conference tournament.

Fields was named all-tournament as the Eagles went on to win the EPIC championship. They also won the regular-season title, and he was a first-team all-conference choice. He was also selected to the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association all-state team.

He has made the rounds in Cumberland County, spending his first two years of high school at Seventy-First. He saw limited playing time as a freshman, then got into all of the Falcons’ game his sophomore season.

Fields practiced with Jack Britt less than a week in the fall of 2004 before moving to Fayetteville Academy.

“If there is a better player in this county, I want to see him,” Fayetteville Academy coach Doug Ginn said. “He has size, but he can do a lot of things too.

“He has tremendous athleticism; he can really jump. You don’t always see that from a guy as tall as John. We ran a lot of alley-oop plays for him, and he got a bunch of dunks off of them.

“John has a nice jump shot out to 15 feet and he handles the ball pretty well for his size. He can defend when he wants to, and he’s so long that he’s tough to get around. He also moves his feet well. Of course, he needs to get stronger, which is true of most high school kids.”

This season, Fields is averaging 17.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, leading the Mid-Southeastern 4-A Conference in both categories. He threw in 29 points and pulled down 15 boards in Britt’s 70-49 win over Pinecrest.

“John is a back-to-the-basket player for us,” Walker said, “but he can step out and hit the jumper from 12-14 feet. He will have to do that more consistently, however, to be a threat in college.

“We need him inside, but we’ll give him the opportunity to move outside at times. He can face the basket, but that’s not how we use him most of the time.

“He is a good athlete who is quick off his feet," Walker said. "He does a lot of good things. He blocks shots, but changes more than he blocks, and that’s just as good if not better because we usually end up with the ball.

“Most big guys have their size as an advantage, and John can also get off the floor well. He has long arms too, so he plays taller than 6-9.”

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02/23/2007 02:42:39 PM


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