- Mindi Rice
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Elaine Swaby's college decision came down to three schools, but after two visits, it was clear to the Paterson, N.J., forward where she needed to be.
Swaby cancelled her third visit and, late last week, gave a verbal commitment to Seton Hall, where she had taken her first official visit, a short 25-minute drive from her house.
"My mom's played a big part in my basketball," Swaby said Tuesday. "She's always been at all my games, so I wanted a place where she'd be able to come to my college games."
Also near Swaby's Kennedy High School, Seton Hall brings a close-to-home location, a physical therapy program that Swaby is interested in studying, and a chance to play some of the game's toughest competition in the Big East conference.
The 6-foot-1 forward also considered Seton Hall's Big East opponent, Louisville, where she also took an official visit, and Pittsburgh.
Swaby, the No. 43 player in the ESPN HoopGurlz Hundred for 2010, had a breakout summer with the NYC Gauchos after missing the summer before her junior year while recovering from a left anterior cruciate ligament injury.
"I was just so happy for her this summer," Gauchos coach Earl Elliotte said. "The kid almost came out of nowhere after her injury. ... I knew she was going to sneak up on some people. She can jump out of the gym and her mid-range game has just improved so much, she's tough to defend."
Swaby was the first of two recent top-60, in-state commitments for the Pirates, with No. 53 Ka-Deidre Simmons, a 5-8 point guard from Newark, N.J., giving her verbal commitment over the weekend.
"Seton Hall's been interested for a couple of years," Swaby said. "It's a program that I can go to and help turn it around and contribute."
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Mindi Rice is a National High School / ESPN HoopGurlz staff writer. She previously was an award-winning sportswriter at the Tacoma News Tribune and a barista at Starbucks, and grew up in Seattle, where she attended Roosevelt High School before graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.