GARDNER — Just what a women’s basketball coach might hope to find on an early Christmas list: a local girl who loves playing defense.
The Bluefield State College hoops program can add the name of Lyndsay Hatfield to their list. The PikeView High School senior made her commitment public at a signing ceremony on Tuesday afternoon in the school’s library / media center in Gardner.
With BSC being in the same county as her home, she said, “My parents can come watch me play, and that was very important to me, and also my teammates. They have the major that I was wanting, and it’s a good team to be with, too.”
She plans to major in biology and become a physical therapist.
First she wants to play for a college program that she had heard a lot about, especially its championship in the Eastern College Athletic Conference last spring.
“A lot of people have definitely said it was a good program to go into, so I think I made the right decision,” she said.
She said about BSC head coach J.J. Oliver, “He’s awesome to be around. ... We connect pretty good. I definitely wanted to have a coach that I could connect with, and build a relationship with.
“It definitely surprised me when he became the coach a few years ago and went from a losing record to winning the conference championship. That really (caught) my attention.”
PikeView head coach Karen Miller, who played point guard for Bluefield State as a collegian, said, “Lyndsay is a very hard worker. She’s determined. She loves the game of basketball, and I think Bluefield State’s getting a really good basketball player.”
“I’m very happy and proud and tickled to death that she chose the school that I graduated from, and also played ball there.”
Miller said, “Her dedication has been awesome here at PikeView. If she has to dive on the floor, she’ll do it. She’ll do whatever it takes. ... She has a lot of energy.”
Hatfield said, “I like defense more than offense. You’ve got to do the dirty work before it all pays off, anyway.”
“My teammates push me hard, every day at practice. It makes me better and better every day, and I strive to get better.”
“My AAU coach (Brian Nabors) has really gotten me far, ever since I was a freshman.”
Her father Geoffrey Hatfield said about the sport of basketball, “She’s loved it ever since she was a baby, her and her sister (Lauryn) both. Everywhere they’d go, they’d have a ball in their hands.”
“They really, took to it, both of them have,” he said. “It’s like anything — if you like something, you really take to it better.”
He said the family “wore out two or three vehicles, getting her back and forth to practice.”
He said about his daughter’s college selection process, “I didn’t say anything to her, to start with, because I felt like it was her decision. She finally asked my opinion, and I told her, you’d be close to home. You’ve got your family, your support system there with you.
“And it just seemed Bluefield State’s style of play really fits the kind of player Lyndsay is.”
“She’s a very strong player, very tough,” he said. “She’s always been a defensive player, and a rebounder.”
Lyndsay’s mother, Tammy Rogers, said that when she heard of her daughter’s choice, “I was ecstatic, because it’s local. We can go to her games. She’s got a full ride. It’s awesome.”
She added, “She is tough, I mean, she’s tough. If she falls down, (she’s) back up. If there’s blood, we fix it, she’s back up.”
The signee said it made sense to commit before her senior prep season starts next week.
“There’s a big difference in the way that you play before you sign,” she said. “If you sign before (the season), then you don’t have much stress on you and you play differently. ... You just settle down and play.”
Hatfield said about PikeView’s upcoming campaign, “We have work to do, but we’re hungry for a good season, so we’re going to keep eating at it, every day.”
— Contact Tom Bone at