Greenville’s Somerfield signs with Oakland University


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 11:50 am on Thursday, November 14, 2013

Greenville senior Leah Somerfield, middle, signs a Letter of Intent to play college basketball at Oakland University. Included in photo, left to right, mother Shellie Somerfield, assistant coach Tammy Kemp, head coach Eric Nichols and father Jeff Somerfield.

GREENVILLE — Greenville High School senior Leah Somerfield has always dreamed of playing basketball at the collegiate level.

On Wednesday, that dream became a reality as Somerfield signed a Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies.

“It’s exciting and nerve racking, kind of,” Somerfield said. “It’s a huge step. It’s something I really wanted to do.”

With her talent and dedication to the game, Somerfield had plenty of schools to choose from. In the end, Oakland separated itself from the pack.

“When we went to visit them, they had a really good coaching staff and were really nice,” Somerfield said. “They have a beautiful campus and I really like their new coach (Jeff Tungate).”

Somerfield said Oakland showed all kinds of interest in her from the beginning.

“Oakland showed a lot of interest in me,” she said. “They went to almost every AAU game and watched. They sent me lots of letters, asked me to come to their camp and just showed a lot of interest overall.”

A year ago, Somerfield averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Yellow Jackets. She earned first team O-K Bronze honors, an Associated Press Class A honorable mention and was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Best of Class A team.

“I’m very proud of Leah and happy for the Somerfield family,” Greenville coach Eric Nichols said. “Leah is the consummate teammate, unselfish, competitive and a team leader.

“Oakland is getting a great young lady, he added.

With one high school season remaining, Somerfield said she needs to improve on some aspects of her game.

“I need to improve on my dribbling for sure,” Somerfield said. “I need to improve shooting from three-point range and I need to be more physical.”

The Yellow Jackets begin the season Dec. 3 at Muskegon Reeths-Puffer. Somerfield thinks they can have a great season.

“I feel like if we can work together and push the ball, I think we will do well,” Somerfield said.

Somerfield’s older brother Austin is currently playing basketball for Grand Rapids Community College. She said he has helped her game tremendously. Somerfield also thanks her family for all the help, as well.

“He has always pushed me and wanted me to do the best I can,” Somerfield said. “He has helped me get to where I am today. Every time he comes home, he is always outside shooting and helping. I want to thank my parents, family, coaches and friends helping me get to where I am.”

Oakland University is a Division 1 school and now plays in the Horizon League after making a switch from the Summit League this summer.

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