The following is a press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s (RFH’s)Janae Mayfield has signed her letter of intent to play NCAA Division I Basketball for St. Peter’s University in Jersey City.
Janae, a senior at RFH, put pen to paper and made it official on the morning of April 15 with her family and coaches proudly looking on.
“My parents put a basketball in my hands when I was four years old,” said Janae. “I loved watching my older siblings play, and as I got older my dad and I would shoot hoops in the driveway while I waited for my school bus.”
Introduced to organized basketball in fourth grade, Janae played for South Brunswick Travel Coach Eliot Runyon, whose assistant coach was Janae’s mom Davida.
“Coach Eliot taught me the game, and I began to have a passion for basketball,” Janae said. “He told me ‘defense wins the game, always take the high road, and have fun.’
“The valuable lessons that I learned on and off the court have carried me every step of the way.”
Academics were foremost on the minds of Janae’s parents when they made the decision to send her to RFH.
“When I decided to attend RFH, I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” said Janae. “I ended up excelling academically, achieving High Honor Roll consistently since freshman year.”
Janae found success on the court as well.
“I played varsity as a freshman, and became a captain/starter in my junior year,” she said. “I was often given the job of defending against the best player on the opposing team.
“Defense became my specialty, and my offense followed.”
While playing for RFH Girls Basketball Coach George Sourlis — an RFH alum who now holds the Shore Conference record for the most wins of any basketball coach (626) — Janae enjoyed some memorable moments.
She was on the court when RFH earned a State Title, and when Sourlis earned his landmark 600th win.
“I am so happy for Janae,” said Sourlis. “This is one of those instances that you point to for future players to learn from; that when you have a great attitude and work hard, you can make your dream become reality.”
Janae says that her faith in God and the support of her parents, grandmother, siblings, extended family, trainers, coaches — middle school, AAU, and high school — and her teammates are the driving force behind her success.
She also expressed gratitude to the “amazing” coaches at St. Peter’s University for giving her this opportunity.
“At the University Level, I plan to build on ‘A Dream Is Work’,” said Janae. “I will work hard as a student/athlete by being a good teammate, elevating my leadership skills and work ethic, improving my focus, and remaining humble.”
Janae’s sources of support were behind her on signing day, held in the RFH Lower Library. She was joined by: parents Davida and John, of Fair Haven; sister and brother-in law, Jasmynn and Jarrod Bright; brother, Johnny; grandmother, Sallie Pierce; niece, Nola Bright; Aunt Dietria Pierce; Coach Eliot Runyon; AAU Coach Ali Napolitano; and RFH Coach George Sourlis.