Midway makes Lane rethink plans not to play college hoops

Published 12:14 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

Anna Lane has been dribbling a basketball since she was old enough to handle the ball and always dreamed of playing college basketball. However, despite playing a part in the Lincoln County High School Lady Patriot basketball team’s success, she never dreamed she would set foot on court in a college basketball game.

“I really didn’t think that was going to be much of an option for me,” said the LCHS senior, who was the Lady Patriots’ sixth-man. “I hadn’t gotten many looks that much so I just kind of assumed that I’d go to EKU or a cheap school, you know, and just study there and get my education.”

Playing college ball became very much an option for the reserve guard in the early fall, however, when Alan Foster, head women’s basketball coach at Midway University, came calling.

“I had toured a bunch of other schools just to, like, go to college not necessarily play basketball, but then they contacted me around September-ish and asked me to come to one of their practices and they gave me a tour of the school. So I went there and really liked it,” Lane said. “I met with them again in December and I toured it again just to figure out if I wanted to go there. I went there and I really liked it, so I decided that was where I was going to go.”

“Once Midway contacted me, I was really excited and thankful for the opportunity,” she said. “Of course I told them I would love to play basketball.”

Foster, who is just coming off his first season as Midway’s women’s basketball coach, said he was happy the Eagles contacted Lane.

“I’m glad we were able to change her mind,” Foster said. “I’m a big believer in the student/athlete experience. You can go to school a lot of places and just go to school, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I think there’s something added to your experience when you’re playing a sport and you’re part of a team. We hope her extending her playing career enhances her college experience.”

Lane made the formal announcement of her college choice during a signing ceremony in the LCHS library in February before the conclusion of the Lady Patriots’ 2018-19 season.

Lane’s signing brings the number of Lincoln seniors moving on to play college basketball to five or the entire senior class.

“At first I was really afraid that I was, like, going to be the only one not to sign. Once it all happened I was really happy,” said Lane. “Five seniors all getting to play college basketball. That’s really a big deal. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Lane wasn’t the only one happy about her signing. Midway’s coach shared in the excitement of the moment.

“We’re really happy to have Anna join our program,” said Foster. “We had a showcase back in the fall that she attended and we’ve watched her play a half dozen or so of her games, and I just have been really impressed with her. Whether she plays five minutes or 25 minutes, she’s always doing something positive on the floor. And she plays so hard and she’s also part of a winning team. We’re trying to make sure that we recruit people that come from good programs and I’ve heard nothing but good things about this program and, obviously, the success that they’ve had. That was important to us as well.”

“She checked all the boxes,” he added. “She’s a great athlete and then she’s a great student. One of the things we’re doing at Midway is making sure we have good student/athletes. So we’re really super excited to have her.”

While content with her decision to continue playing basketball at Midway, Lane is uncertain of how she will fit into the Eagles’ program.

“I’m not for sure yet, because I’m the first person to commit to go to Midway so I’m not sure what the rest of the freshman class is going to bring,” she said.

The Lincoln senior may not know the talent level of her fellow freshmen, but she is feeling optimistic about her potential to be a vital member of the Eagle squad.

“They started a freshman this year so hopefully I can earn my spot up there,” said Lane. “They are not afraid to use freshmen. Maybe I’ll get some playing time. It would be different to sit on the bench a lot, but it doesn’t matter. I’m excited to be a part of the team.”

Lane joins a team that finished 16-14 this season. The Eagles play in the River States Conference.

When asked what she hoped to bring to Midway University and the women’s basketball program, Lane reached back to her faith.

“I’m going to try to be a good Christian light to Midway school. I’ve already met a bunch of the girls and I think I will connect really well. They are nice Christian girls so I feel like I will be a good fit,” she answered. “As an athlete, I want to bring passion as always and show them, like, really why I want to play basketball and why I love the place.”

Lane, the daughter of Darin and Diana Lane of Stanford, says she plans to pursue a degree in elementary education with hopes for a career as a teacher in grades first through third.