FAIRFIELD — Nia Irving’s hands remained steady as she grabbed the pen that was about to officially make her a Boston University Terrier.

As Lawrence High School basketball fans have come to know in the last three years, Irving’s hands are always steady in the big moment. The Bulldogs’ 6-foot-1 center led them to their first Gold Ball since 1994 last season.

Flanked by mother Lisa, father Harry and a multitude of awards and trophies she has won in her already storied basketball career, Irving signed her National Letter of Intent to accept a full basketball scholarship to BU on Friday night.

“I’m really excited to make it official,” Irving said prior to a brief signing ceremony in the high school’s front lobby. “It’s great that I’m surrounded by my family and friends and teammates. They make the moment all the more special.”

When she verbally committed to BU last June, Irving revealed she’d had the school in her sights since the sixth grade. The decision helped her focus on basketball over the summer and academics once school started.

Still, she and her family were glad to finally put the commitment in ink.

“We’ve been waiting for this day, just to get it official. No taking it back now,” Lisa Irving said with a laugh.

“It’s a relief not having to worry about the pressure of deciding what college I’m going to go to,” Nia added. “It’s something lifted off your shoulders. It’s going to make the upcoming season that much more fun.”

Practice for the 2015-16 season starts Monday. The Bulldogs start their season Dec. 4 at Messalonskee.

“I can’t wait,” Nia said. “I’ve been waiting all fall. It feels like it’s dragged on.”

Irving tore her ACL while playing AAU basketball in May 2014, but pulled off an amazing recovery to average 22.5 points and 14 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs last season and lead them to their first title since Cindy Blodgett was the star.

The Gold Ball from when Lawrence defeated Thornton Academy, 50-43, was removed from the trophy case behind Irving to sit next to her as she signed the letter of intent.

“She’s a basketball junkie,” Lawrence coach John Donato said. “If she’s not in the gym, she’s the first one in the gym. She’s always working on her game. Her father opens the gym for her. She plays AAU. She works out at the health club. It’s something that didn’t come easy, especially after she tore her ACL and everybody said ‘Well, she’ll never be the same.’ In fact, she’s better now than before she tore the ACL.”

“I’m very proud,” Harry Irving added. “Nia’s worked hard for many years. She’s been one of those kids, you’ve never had to ask her, say, go shoot some shots or do this. Since third or fourth grade, she’s loved basketball. She’s put her heart into it and it’s paid off for her.”

Prior to Irving putting pen to paper, Lawrence athletic director Bill MacManus read off a list of her accomplishments on and off the court. She is vice president of the school’s National Honor Society and ranks 12th in a senior class of 155 students with a 4.4 weighted GPA. She’s won Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A Player of the Year and Morning Sentinel Player of the Year each of the last three years and was last year’s Maine Gatorade Player of the Year.

Nia paid her first official visit to BU a couple of weeks ago, meeting with players and the coaching staff, including head coach Katy Steding and Blodgett, who is in her second season as an assistant coach. The trip reinforced why she chose the school in the first place.

“Growing up in Fairfield, I’ve never really experienced what it’s like to live in the city,” said Irving, who also had scholarship offers from University of Maine, University of New Hampshire and Navy. “And the whole academic and athletic balance at BU is amazing.”

“It was great,” Lisa Irving said. “The staff was very welcoming. I felt very safe sending her to that family, because they’re just like a family down there.”

Last year, in their first season under Steding, the Terriers finished 5-25 after losing to Colgate in the first round of the Patriot League tournament. This year’s roster includes just two seniors, both guards, and added a transfer student and four freshmen, including a 6-foot-5 center.

“They’re kind of in the rebuilding process,” Irving said. “I’m hoping next year I’m able to make an impact.”

BU opened its season on Friday with a 77-44 loss to Northeastern.

• • •

Earlier this week, Valley senior Cody Laweryson and Madison senior Aly LeBlanc signed national letters of intent. Laweryson will play baseball at the University of Maine. LeBlanc will play softball at Georgia Regents University.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Laweryson is a right-handed pitcher from Bingham who posted a .70 ERA while striking out 1.85 batters per inning for the Cavaliers.

“Cody hails from a small town in Maine, but I expect big things from him during his career at UMaine,” Black Bears head coach Steve Trimper said in a press release from the school.

“He came to one of our camps as a youngster and stood out, but recently took a huge jump physically,” Trimper said. “Cody is a tremendous athlete, and added a power right-handed arm will be a big asset to our pitching staff.”

LeBlanc, a catcher, has been the backbone of one of the strongest softball programs in Class C the last three years. She led Madison to back-to-back Western Class C softball titles in 2013 and 2014 and the state softball title in 2014. In 2015, the Bulldogs were 17-2 and upset in the regional final by Telstar.

She will be signing her NLI at a ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Madison High School.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33