ECU basketball coach Jeff Lebo and the rest of his coaching staff landed one of the more prized recruits in some time for the Pirates’ program on Saturday.
Top247 PG Lance Tejada committed to ECU coach Jeff Lebo during halftime of Saturday's football game.
Hollywood (Fla.) Blanche Ely Top247 point guard Lance Tejada verbally committed to ECU on his official visit over the weekend. Tejada, who once held offers from the likes of Butler, Florida State, Miami, South Florida, Texas A&M and Virginia, chose the Pirates over Alabama, Murray State and a few other finalists.
Tejada went into his visit at ECU intending to hold off on committing for a while, but he couldn’t help himself when surrounded by the coaches, players and the rest of the program after arriving in Greenville.
The highly-rated three-star recruit that’s ranked as the 147th best player in the country according to the 247Composite spoke in-depth with Hoist The Colours to break down his commitment.
Stephen Igoe: How does it feel to commit to ECU and be a Pirate?
Lance Tejada: Man, it’s an unbelievable feeling. The support that the school has behind it – in anything they do they have so much pride – that’s a big thing when you go to college. I wanted to live that experience and go to a college that loves being there for people. That’s just going to make you a better person, and it’s also going to make you a better player too, to have so many people that believe in you in the whole town. It feels good to be a Pirate.
SI: Now, did you go into your visit expecting to commit, or did it just kind of blow you away with what you saw in Greenville?
LT: Yeah, it just kind of blew me away. Actually, I went into the visit saying I don’t want to commit so early, but I ended up doing it. It was just something about the place. My dad always told me, “You’ll get that feeling when you want to be somewhere.” And I could picture myself there. I didn’t want to leave, honestly. I wish I could’ve stayed there, but it just was a crazy experience. It felt like I knew the people and players forever the way we were hanging out. It’s just a great place.
SI: What was the conversation like when you told Coach Lebo you were committing and how excited was he?
LT: It happened when we were in the conference room talking. They brought me in at halftime during the football game. We were just talking about different stuff, and then he said, “I want you to be a Pirate.” And then I was, like, “I’m ready to be a Pirate.” And he didn’t believe me at first. He actually said, “Right now?” and I’m like “Yeah.” Then he looked at my parents because he thought I wasn’t fully into it for sure yet. Then he asked if I spoke to my parents about it and I had. He kind of jumped up and screamed, and he said, “Welcome to Pirate Nation,” and gave me a hug and stuff so that was cool coming from the head coach.
SI: You went to the football game, so what did you think of the fans and the atmosphere and all that?
LT: It must suck for the other team to have to play there, I’ll tell you that. It’s crazy. The crowd – the people go nuts there – they chant purple and gold and that’s what they bleed at ECU. They’ve got the craziest fans there. You’re going to win a lot of games when you have a consistent atmosphere like that. Because pretty much at East Carolina, everybody stays on campus. It’s like a college town, so nobody’s going to want to stay too far away from the school because that would be boring. What they consider the off-campus apartments is like literally walking distance from the arena. I walked from the arena to the place and it was a five-minute walk, and that’s what they consider off-campus housing.
SI: Did you get a chance to tour the new practice facility they just built and what did you think of that?
LT: They had just finished when I came. It smelt new and it’s just a beautiful facility. It has everything you need on that next level as far as resources that you could use, and 24/7 gym access to your facility. You don’t have to go the main gym. You just punch in the code and you’re right in there. That’s a big thing on that next level. It’s a very nice facility. One of the best facilities I’ve seen in a while.
SI: Last thing, now that you’re committed, do you plan to take any more visits or are you pretty much content with your decision and going to shut down your recruitment?
LT: I’m content with my decision. I don’t see myself going anywhere else. I’m not taking anymore visits.