“One and done” usually refers to a men’s college basketball player who opts to turn pro after one season.
McKinley High girls basketball player Erica Lafayette put her own spin on that phrase by committing to Rutgers.
“That was my only recruiting visit,” Lafayette said. “I was one and done. Once I was there (at Rutgers), I knew that was where my heart is. There was no question about it.”
The 5-foot-11 Lafayette visited the Rutgers campus located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on Oct. 4-7. Lafayette had about 20 scholarship offers. The chance to play for legendary Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer also played a role in Lafayette’s choice.
“Watching the players, seeing the way they worked and cared for each other impressed me,” Lafayette said. “And seeing them work with coach Stringer and (the) care and respect they showed for her was something. Their chemistry was awesome.”
Lafayette averaged 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists a game a year ago for a McKinley team that finished second in District 5-5A to Class 5A semifinalist East Ascension.
The Panthers were unable to go to the playoffs last season because of a one-year LHSAA playoff ban in all sports because of multiple rules violations.
As she prepares to sign with the Scarlet Knights next month, Lafayette is also preparing for her first season with new McKinley coach Temeka Johnson, the former LSU point guard and WNBA standout.
“I am extremely excited for Erica to get this chance to play college basketball,” Johnson said. “All her work has paid off. And to play for someone like coach Stringer is a great opportunity.”