First Posted: 5/9/2011
WACO, Texas Former Lumberton High star and Robeson County native Stargell Love is leaving Baylor University to be closer to his grandmother the 6-foot-3 point guard confirmed Monday.
Love, a McDonalds All-American nominee from Quality Education Academy in Charlotte, was rated the No. 17 point guard and No. 89 player overall in ESPNUs Top 100 in 2009.
Love left Lumberton after his junior season with the Pirates, re-classified and played two seasons in Charlotte at Quality Education Academy for more national exposure. He signed a national letter of intent with Baylor in April 2009.
As a freshman, Love appeared in 24 games for the Bears and averaged 2.2 points per contest. He scored a career-high 11 points at Kansas State on Jan. 24.
Evalena Lorick, 82, lives in Lumberton and has not been able to see her grandson play in college. Love said the 1,200-mile separation was too much to handle for three more years.
Just knowing Im close to her makes me feel better about the whole situation, Love said in a phone interview. I need to be able to see her more, check up on her, be there for her. It was a very hard decision to make to leave Baylor, but it was the best decision for me and my family.
Love said he enjoyed his one season at Baylor.
I loved all my coaches and teammates, Love said. Its been great here, but family-wise, I needed to leave.
Recruited by head coach Scott Drew as an athletic slasher and distributor to replace Tweety Carter during the 2009-10 season, Love made a single start as a freshman.
It wasnt a playing time or basketball-related decision, Love said. I just needed to be closer to home.
Loves mentor and former Robeson County Rockets coach, Lamont Taylor, was glad to see Love come to a decision.
He didnt want to leave, but being so far from home was weighing on his mind, Taylor said. He was stressed out. Hes an emotionally fragile young man when it comes to his grandmother.
She cant watch him play so far away and I know that means a lot to him. He wants to be here for her in case her health goes bad, too.
According to Love, leaving Waco, Texas in his rear-view was a tough choice, especially since high school teammate and friend Quincy Miller a Fairmont native will be a freshman for the Bears this fall.
Basketball aside, it was a difficult decision to make.
I have to be there for her when she needs me, Love said. Shes 82. You never know how much time you have left.
The next few weeks will be busy for Love as he searches for a school in the Southeast in need of a point guard.
Well probably go up to Maryland, N.C. State maybe even VCU, Taylor said. He doesnt want to get too far away.
Added Love: Im looking at places where Id be able to come home if my grandmother needed me definitely schools in North Carolina.
Staff writer Brad Crawford can be reached at (910) 272-6119 or at [email protected]