Lora Changes Mind; Albertus Magnus Gets Huge Steal
Albertus Magnus head coach Mitch Oliver has just landed arguably the biggest recruiting steal we’ve seen all year long in 6’7” big man Jefferson Lora.
Lora, who was originally a member of the class of 2010, committed to Central Connecticut earlier in the fall. But after earning enough credits to graduate this year he has decided that he wants to go to college in September…and he wants to go to Albertus Magnus.
“It was my decision,” Lora told the New Haven Register’s Joe Morelli. “I told Coach Dickenman I was not coming. I loved the school and Coach Dickenman, but I felt I wasn’t committed to Division I. (Dickenman) was reasonable. He understood where I was coming from.”
Lora began his high school career at Alfred E. Smith Vocational High School in New York. He played in just one game in his sophomore season, and then repeated his sophomore year at Wallingford’s Lyman Hall High School.
His two seasons at Lyman Hall were incredibly successful as he was a New Haven Register All-Area selection both years, an All-State award winner this past season, and helped Lyman Hall advance to the Class L state finals and semi-finals in the last two seasons.
But because the CIAC ruled that his one game played in New York counted as a full season, Lora officially exhausted his eligibility following this past season at Lyman Hall.
Consequently, the assumption was that Lora would spend next year in prep school before heading to Central Connecticut in the fall of 2010.
But when it became apparent that it would be possible for Lora to graduate from Lyman Hall this year, he decided that was what he wanted to do.
With some additional course work this summer, it still might have been possible to become NCAA Clearinghouse eligible for next season, but ultimately Lora just felt more comfortable at the division III level.
What makes this situation even more ironic is just how well Lora has been playing on the AAU circuit so far this spring. It’s a pretty safe assumption that had he opted to de-commit to Central but go ahead with the plan to go to prep school, Lora could have easily found himself playing at the mid-major level in another year.
“Everyone is shocked why I dropped from Division I to Division III, but it is not that big of a difference basketball-wise. It doesn’t matter what division, you are still playing NCAA basketball. I did not make a mistake. I felt I would do better at Albertus.”
What is indisputable is that Lora has the size and talent to immediately become one of the best players in the GNAC. His presence provides a major boost to what has already been a remarkable rebuilding project at Albertus Magnus under second year head coach Mitch Oliver. The Falcons went 14-13 last season (9-9), finishing above .500 for the first time in recent memory, and advanced to the semi-finals of the GNAC tournament. They return the majority of their rotation next year including GNAC freshman of the year, Raymond Askew.