WOODSTOCK, Va. — The Utah basketball coaching staff racked up the miles in finding and then pursuing Ahmad Fields, who signed with the program last week. It was during a tournament in Connecticut when Utah coaches first caught a glimpse of Fields and immediately liked what they saw.
Fields is a 6-foot-5 swingman who starred for both Massanutten Military Academy and top Amateur Athletic Union team DC Assault. He describes himself as a slasher who works hard on both ends of the court – qualities prized by Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak and his staff.
Fields put his skill set on display for Utah assistant coach Tommy Connor in November during the aforementioned preseason tournament in Connecticut.
“I was sort of surprised that a coach from clear out in Utah would be there watching me play, but I was thankful for it – that’s for sure,” Fields said. “He immediately got in touch with me, told me that he liked what he saw and then I heard from Coach K (Krystkowiak) and he told me the same things.”
Fields received an official scholarship offer from Utah soon after coaches contacted him, and immediately took to everything the program had to offer.
“I think the biggest thing was how comfortable I felt talking to Coach K,” Fields said. “He’s a guy that has been a player and understands what it is like to be a recruit and a player. He understands what it takes to succeed and I just feel that he related to me more than the other coaches I talked to.”
Fields received quite a bit of interest from other programs such as USC, Colorado, Drexel, St. Joseph’s and Ole Miss and even took an official trip out to St. Joseph’s in September. Fields took his next official trip to Utah in December and committed shortly after the trip concluded.
“I went out there right before Christmas and I remember it was really cold and most of the students were gone on break, but I loved the place,” Fields said. “The trip sort of confirmed everything I already felt about the program and even though it was so far away I felt at home there.”
Despite continued interest from other programs, Fields stayed true to his Utah commitment and signed with the program last week along with Kenneth Ogbe and Princeton Onwas. Throughout the season Fields said he made a habit of watching Utah play whenever he could and took particular interest during the Pac-12 tournament.
The Utes exceeded expectations in the Pac-12 tournament, eventually reaching the semifinals where they lost to eventual champion Oregon.
“Utah won five of its final six games, so that just shows you where the program is going right there,” Fields said. “Every year the program has improved under Coach K and that’s going to continue, I have no doubt. I’m excited to be part of it and I love the opportunity I’ll have to play in a big-time conference like the Pac-12.”
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company