NORWICH – The hard work and dedication to the sport that Norwich senior Halea Eaton has put in over the years has now paid off as she officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play NCAA Division-II basketball at LeMoyne College in Syracuse.
“When I think about Halea [Eaton] achieving this goal of getting herself an athletic scholarship to play college basketball, the one thing that really comes to mind immediately is she is a self-made player,” said Norwich girls basketball head coach Josh Bennett. “Halea is very talented and she is an incredible person in terms of character and integrity.
“In 13 years of coaching and 30 years of being around sports, I have never seen anyone put in the work and the effort that Halea did in order to achieve this.”
Eaton fell in love with the sport of basketball at a very young age and was determined to play at the next level ever since. She started with organized basketball through the Norwich Family YMCA recreational league before moving on to the Travel Team. In fifth grade, Eaton played with the sixth grade team.
After being a member of the team, coached by her dad Dennis Eaton and Tim Thompson, the now Norwich senior moved on to play one year of modified and a season of junior varsity before becoming a four-year varsity starter under Bennett.
As if she hadn’t had enough basketball during the regular season, the offseason between her freshman and sophomore year is when Eaton began her travels to play for a Binghamton AAU team called the BNY Select.
“I’m super proud of Halea,” said BNY Select coach Mike Constantine. “Very similar to what Coach [Bennett] said, she is one of the hardest working kids that we have ever had in our program. I think, as a coach, that is reliable. You don’t ever have to worry about her not having a good attitude, not having good body-language, not playing as hard as she can and the list goes on.