"Brendan has seized every opportunity. He's been enthusiastic, hard-working and is focused on his goals of pursuing a career in medicine. He told me it's a way to give back to the people who cared so deeply about — those he loved. Brendan is a special young man."

'Always there to give us spark'

Fields' dreams of college basketball seem to be materializing.

Although he was recruited by local Division III schools McDaniel, Hood and Goucher, he chose Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa.

He helped his prospects by maintaining B-plus average for the last two years. Undersandably, he was struggling academically after the deaths of his mom and grandmother. 

Now, Fields wants to be a pre-med major with a business minor.

"He plays harder and more aggressively than anyone I've coached in a long time," coach Rees said. "He was just always there to give us spark.

"There is no back-down in this kid. Pallotti had a 6-8 kid, Chapelgate had a 6-7 kid. He would go in and battle with them every night."

Rees marvels at Fields' resiliency.

"I think it absolutely takes a special kid to overcome what he went through," Rees said. "There were a lot of opportunities for an easy out, to go down the wrong road. And he never did."

For Fields, the ultimate goal lies ahead.

"I want people to look at me and say, 'Wow, this kid made it.' "