Coyote point guard looking forward to playing for former WNBA player

REED CITY — Emma Lockhart knows where she’ll be playing basketball the next five seasons. This season, Lockhart will be playing her senior year at Reed City. After that, she’ll be pursuing a four-year collegiate career at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. Lockhart signed a national letter with the school on Friday. She joins the Golden Eagles for the 2013-14 season. “It just seemed like the best fit academically and athletically,” Lockhart said. “I really connected with the coach there.” This marks Lockhart’s fourth varsity season with Reed City. She was all-Central State Activities Association first team last season and also a member of the Pioneer’s Dream Team. Lockhart averaged better than 14 points per game and hauled down nearly three rebounds per contest as a junior. She also averaged four assists and more than three steals per game. Cornerstone is an NAIA school that finished 18-13 overall and 11-7 in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference last season. “They’re always competitive with everyone,” Lockhart said. Her coach will be Katie Mattera, who played high school basketball at Grand Rapids Baptist before playing college hoops at Liberty University. She played the last three seasons in the China Pro League and before that had a five-year stint with the Women’s National Basketball Association, including one season with the Detroit Shock. This is Mattera’s first season at Cornerstone. Lockhart had been conferring with the previous coach, Carla Fles. “They hired their new coach this summer and I started talking with her,” Lockhart said, adding that she made her final decision more than three weeks ago. “I saw (Lockhart) playing at AAU during the summer and Carla had been following her,” Mattera said. “I love her work ethic and the passion she has for the game. She’s a great all-around player and makes her teammates better in everything she does. She looks to shoot, she looks to rebound and is an all-around great player.” Lockhart also looked at Trine in Indiana and Alma and Olivet in Michigan. “It just seemed like Cornerstone was the best fit,” she said. “I’m planning on going into accounting and after that getting my masters in medical administration.” Lockhart also will be receiving academic and athletic scholarships for attending Cornerstone. “It’s always been my goal since I was a little kid to play college basketball somewhere,” Lockhart said. Lockhart, like any freshman player, will carry high hopes of getting quality playing time at Cornerstone. Mattera is confident Lockhart will make a quick adjustment to the collegiate level. “We’re rebuilding and we’re a real young team but we’re going to get to where we need to be,” Mattera said, adding that she’s currently starting a freshman point guard. “It depends on every freshman coming in. Sometimes, they take longer to adjust. I don’t see that for Emma.” Lockhart is anticipating she’ll be using as a point guard or shooting guard for the Eagles. “It’s a big relief making the decision before school is ending,” Lockhart said. “I’ll be working hard and trying to improve everything in my game.”