XENIA — Emma Hess is used to winning while playing basketball at Legacy Christian Academy.
The Knights have won or shared the Metro Buckeye Conference each year Hess has played and they have made it to the Division-IV District finals each season as well, advancing to the regional semifinal once.
So it’s only logical that the 5-foot-11 inch senior chose a college with a similar winning culture. The Beavercreek resident Wednesday signed with D-I Liberty University, a team that has been to the NCAA Tournament 16 times since 1997.
“Liberty is the perfect fit for me,” Hess said. “I think Liberty’s style of play fits my game well and I really love the coaching staff and the team atmosphere. I’m super excited to be joining a university that has great academics and a team that has a winning culture and a fantastic coaching staff.”
Hess is the first player from the MBC to receive a D-I scholarship since Erian Buckman from Jefferson (2005), who started her college career at Wright State. The year before that, triplets Megan, Moriah, and Molly Frazee from Xenia Christian (now Legacy), all signed with Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va.
“We are excited to officially have Emma join our Liberty University family,” Coach Carey Green said. “She had attended our basketball camps for several years, and it was evident then that she possessed the competitive desire to succeed at the collegiate level. Emma has developed into a prolific scorer from the wing position. She has a love for the game and a work ethic that matches her desire to develop in the game. Her commitment to Liberty was the first in this crazy COVID era and was so welcomed.”
Her play will likely be welcomed as well. The Flames, who were 20-11 last season and 11-5 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, are getting a player who can catch fire from all over the court.
Hess averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range last season, showing an ability to drive to the hoop and pull up and drain a 3-pointer. She scored her 1,000th career point as a junior, while earning first team All-MBC, and player of the year honors. Hess was also first team All-Southwest District and second team All-Ohio. The Knights finished 19-4, won the MBC and was a Division-IV district runner-up.
“I admire her game which is as good as any young lady I’ve seen do it,” Legacy Coach Mark Combs said. “But when you add her character of selflessness, conscientiousness and effort … she is truly a blend of God-given talent with a God-honoring effort. Special.”
Dayton Metro AAU Coach Chuck Painter, who coaches Hess in the off-season, echoed those thoughts.
“A very driven young lady who strives to achieve her goals in life, academics and basketball while attaining a beautiful glow about her as a person, player and teammate … shine bright Emma,” he said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.