There are things that are different. They look different, they move different and feel different. There are things we think we understand and yet we do not. Too often we see things as there are but not how they got to where there are. STELLA LOCKHART is different in so many ways, it hard to put in words. That’s because she seems to get better by the minute. She does things that few can do at her size and age!

You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know after watching Stella Lockhart play this summer that she was a talented player. But you had to be the greatest evaluator of talent in history. If you knew she was going to be this good and so dominate this early in her SJV career. Sophomore Stella Lockhart is playing like she wants to be the SHORE CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. She is playing like someone who wants a SCT and State title. She is playing like someone who just wants to squeeze every drop of talent out of her body. These days she is doing exactly that.

We live in a time of hype. These days it’s about bragging, posting your D1 offers, getting crowned by those with an agenda. I see it so often these days, it’s doesn’t even register with me. If I had a nickel for every freshman who is going to be the next great thing, I’d be a rich man. Last year I was told by those this by those trying to paint the narrative of how great Stella Lockhart was as a player. Like always, I smiled and did the routine. You know, pretend like I believe them. You see I have been around long enough to know how it works. Drop enough tweets, say it over and over and then list the offers on social media and bang the reputation is created. Now the game? That’s another story all together. I watched Stella Lockhart last year. I thought she was talented with lots of potential. But if the truth be told you can say that about thousands of kids across the country. But that was then and this is now.

I remember that first time I saw Stella Lockhart after she had transferred to SJV from Gil Bernard. I couldn’t believe her body. She looked like something craved out of marble. I thought nobody should have a body like that. Nobody, especially in high school should be that fit. Then I saw Stella Lockhart play. It was like watching your dream basketball player as a coach. Her basketball IQ was a thing of beauty, the passing skills were that of a point guard, the shooting of someone you fear. The ball handling was just so tight with no frills, just elite. Then I got to see the best footwork in all of NEW JERSEY. Stella Lockhart  was breathtaking and dazzling. Stella Lockhart wasn’t hype, she was the real thing. Then I thought to myself “ she going to play for Coach Karpell for 3 years, good lord”.  Well guess what?  The lord has showed up because Stella Lockhart is already one of the best players in all of New Jersey and that’s not because someone crowned her. It’s because she has willed herself to greatness!

I told my young players at training one day. “You want to be good? Then shut up and go put work in like Stella Lockhart at SJV”.  You see  there are talkers and doers. Stella Lockhart is getting things done. First she took the bold step to go play for the best high school and coach in the state at SJV with no promises attached. Then she has evolved as a player in every phase of the game. She has mastered her craft yet clearly not satisfied and why she continues to make sacrifices. Both on and off the court. I’ve met Stella once and here is what I know. She smiles and relates to her peers. She is respectful and most importantly coachable. How do I know because I pay close attention to such things. I notice when her coach is talking, she runs to her, looks her in the eyes and LISTENS!!!!! I haven’t met  Stella’s parents but you want to make a bet? There classy in every way. Trust me I know my business and I know people. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, trust me on that one folks!  Stella Lockhart has worked to get to this point. I saw her go from could be to will be… as in a POWER 5 starter in 3 years! She is a old school coaches dream. A kid getting better and not relying on excuses… HOW REFRESHING!

I love kids who just show up and play. Kids who live up to their potential. Forget that Stella Lockhart is 6’1 but moves like someone half that size. Forget the multiple double/doubles this year. Forget the 19 point, 11 rebound and 3 dime masterpiece vs St. Vincent in Fla. Forget her SJV debut  of 11 points, 8 rebounds and 4 dimes in SJV’s win vs Nationally Ranked Phillips. These things matter little  to me. What matters to me is how a young lady has taken full responsibility for her talent, the gifts she’s  been blessed with and nursed them and not taken them for granted. It’s why rooting for STELLA LOCKHART is so easy. Because she is one of the doer’s and winners.. A good kid and more importantly maybe the best player in the state of New Jersey  one day.

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