Recruiting: Pearson, Astel decide

Truman senior forward Krystal Pearson has never been away from her home Bronx for more than a week, so as she decided which school she would attend, she had to make sure that her future college would make the transition rather easy for her.

"Going to college, I want to make sure I'm happy and feel comfortable," Pearson said. "I wanted the feeling like I'm going from my family to another family."

Towson found the comfort she was looking for at Towson and she signed her National Letter of Intent with the Tigers. She chose them over VCU, Florida Atlantic and Cleveland State.

"I'm very excited with my new team, my new coaching staff and am excited to be living on a campus soon," Pearson said. "I'm happy to be able to play Division I basketball."

Pearson, who averaged 15.4 points and 12.4 rebounds this year, made her decision after coming back from a trip to Ireland. She did not want to wait any longer because Towson was recruiting another player in case she decided not to choose it.

She added that if she performs what's asked of her, there is the chance for playing time right away. Her coach, John Burke, believes that Towson is a great fit for Pearson.

"She's the best player I ever had," Burke said. "She can do it all. She left a legacy and players now want to come to Truman. She puts on the map basically. She's a legend in my eyes.

ASTEL TO MANHATTAN: Having the opportunity to play her college basketball close to home in New York City appealed to McKee/SI Tech senior forward Kaitlyn Astel.

"I think the distance played a big factor," said Astel, a Staten Island native who committed to Manhattan on Saturday. "I definitely liked the location and they had a lot of interest in me."

Astel chose Manhattan over Cleveland State, and a pair of Division II schools in Philadelphia University and New Haven. The senior narrowed her list based on whether schools offered engineering, as that's what she plans to major in.

The forward made her decision after returning home from a vacation. She talked it over with her family and realized that Manhattan fit her the best. Astel averaged 20 points and eight rebounds for MSIT while leading it to the PSAL Class AA title game.

"It's a huge relief because I've had people asking me the whole year about it but I couldn't rush the process," Astel said. "It's really exciting to have made it to a Division I school and I think I made the right choice."

Her coach, Peter LaMarca, believes it's a perfect match.

"Kaitlyn really wanted engineering and they have that and it's a great school and they play Division I," LaMarca said. "She lives there, her family can go see her and she's going to excel. I think Manhattan got a steal, I really do."