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Homecoming for Towson Catholic grad Bastfield

Three years ago Larry Bastfield couldn't wait to get away from home for college. Today, the former Towson Catholic standout couldn't be happier to be back.

A second-team Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection in 2008, Bastfield signed with Toledo in the fall of 2007 and completed his sophomore season with the Rockets in the spring. When Toledo coach Gene Cross left the university in March, however, Bastfield decided to head home to Baltimore and finish out his college career at Morgan State.

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"It's for the better," said Bastfield, who is already taking classes this summer at Morgan. "It really hit me when I came home. I was really ready to come back when I was in Toledo. I was ready for a better situation and ready for the next step."

Bastfield's college career got off to a rocky start before he had even enrolled at Toledo. Stan Joplin, the longtime Rockets coach who recruited him, was fired after the 2007-08 season. Bastfield stuck with his commitment and played two years for Cross.Those two years were crucial for the development of Bastfield, who started 32 games as a sophomore and 16 as a freshman. Toledo, however, reached record lows during that time, finishing 7-25 in the 2008-09 season and 4-28 in 2009-10.

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"It was pretty tough. We were just losing a lot," Bastfield said. "There was one time last year we lost 17 games in a row. It was just pretty tough. I kept working hard, but I'm glad now that I'm playing for a winning program."

Bastfield joins a Morgan team fresh off its second straight NCAA tournament appearance. The defending MEAC tournament and regular-season champion Bears lost Reggie Holmes to graduation, leaving an open spot in the backcourt.

"[Morgan coach Todd Bozeman] just told me that he needs a point guard to run his team," Bastfield said. "He's got everything he needs but a point guard to run his ballclub. He said that I could do that. I agree with him. It's just a good situation when you look at it in basketball terms and academic terms."

A communications major, Bastfield said picking Morgan was more about the academic opportunities rather than just returning home to play. Granted, he's happy to be back, but much more went into his decision besides location.

On the court, Bastfield's excited to join a roster that includes several familiar faces from his childhood, including former Team Melo teammate Aric Brooks (St. Frances). Bastfield doesn't regret going to Toledo and appreciates the adversity he faced, but now he's looking forward to the second chapter of his college career.

"It kind of feels like a lot of people in Baltimore are really happy I'm coming home to play. It feels like I'm back in high school days, back in Baltimore playing ball," Bastfield said. "So I just want to keep Morgan in the same place – a winning program, NCAA tournament, MEAC championship, just keep the program going and keep it on the rise."

Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox / March 4, 2008

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