Visit convinces Fieldston player on Brown

Fieldston guard Jacqueline Schoninger chose Brown over Syracuse, Columbia and Princeton. Photo by Damion Reid

Everyone around Jacqueline Schoninger told her she should attend Brown for the next four years. No matter where she turned to, her parents, friends, coaches, and teammates, that is all the Fieldston guard heard.

“It seemed like Brown was the only school I was getting pushed to,” she said. … “For some reason it just fit everyone’s idea of what would be best for me.”

Schoninger still needed some convincing.

She saw all see needed on a visit to the Rhode Island school about a month ago. Schoninger got a chance to watch coach Jean Marie Burr’s team practice and also had an opportunity to scrimmage with the club. The sure-handed point guard and superb shooter fell in love with the Bears’ fast-paced, four-guard style.

Schoninger verbally committed to the Ivy League school shortly after and will be attending on academic scholarship. She helped lead Fieldston to a 21-6 record and its first-ever Ivy League title last season and is the first girls basketball player to commit to a Division I program at the Bronx private school, according to Rosa.

“I guess there was always something in me that always pushed myself towards the [college] Ivy League,” Schoninger said.

She chose Brown over Syracuse, Columbia and Princeton. Columbia was a school she had her heart set on early, but they were “shaky with how they came after her,” according to Rosa. Brown’s open curriculum, which allows students to great freedom in selecting courses, something Schoninger is used to at Fieldston, also impressed her.

Schoninger prepared for her senior year by playing AAU ball for Exodus United over the summer and with St. Michael Academy coach Apache Paschall’s Exodus NYC team in the fall. She credits Paschall with helping her during the recruiting process. She got to work out with Kentucky-bound St. Mike ‘s guard Jennifer O’Neil and North Babylon’s Bria Hartley, who is headed to UConn.

“You can never take a play off or they will embarrass you,” Schoninger said.

“They definitely showed me a different level of basketball and dedication.”

So did renowned girls basketball trainer Jerry Powell.

Starting in April she said she would travel two hours by train to North Babylon to workout with Powell, sometimes three straight days. She was amazed with how quickly he improved both her physical shape and skill and the workouts became addicting. It’s only added to her confidence on the court.

The workouts, testing herself against top competition and the weight of the college decision off her mind should only make for a strong season.

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