“I had essentially thrown out every other school and didn’t know what I was going to do until my high school coach texted me telling me about Emmanuel College and that Coach Bona was interested in recruiting me,” Reynolds said. “So I looked it up and then a day later Coach Bona called me and we talked scholarship, all that kind of stuff and I came here and fell in love with the school on my first visit.”
Reynolds committed to the Lions that day.
“I loved how small it was, it felt like home from the beginning,” Reynolds said. “It’s close to home, only 2.5 hours away from home. Coach Bona was really good about letting me meet with the people who I would be working with, including Dr. Hollingshead, the head of the Education Department, former EC President Stewart, and I actually got to play with the team, I fell in love with the team and the gym right away. I could tell it was a homely environment and that I would be very successful here. The school would do everything to help me get the education that I needed, and I have not regretted the decision once. “
Coming off a 21-11 season, Reynolds was second on the team last year in scoring, averaging 13.1 points per game with 4.7 rebounds from the three guard position.
A Secondary Math Education major, Reynolds will be certified to teach middle or high school math upon graduation, and is currently completing her student teaching at Hart County High School.
Off the court, Reynolds stays plenty involved at Emmanuel and in the Royston community.
“I’m a tutor in our Academic Resource Center, this will be my third year tutoring in there,” Reynolds said. “I am also a part of the Emmanuel Leadership Initiative Advisory Board, last year was my first full year and we plan events on campus and in the community, I absolutely love that group of people, Pastor Tracy (Reynolds), they’re all awesome to work with.”
When she’s not playing basketball, tutoring or working on her own studies, Reynolds volunteers at Royston Baptist Church where she works with the children in the nursery and in children’s church.
How does Reynolds manage to keep her hectic schedule straight?
“I make a lot of to-do lists, I try to stay as organized as possible,” Reynolds said. “I’m not bad, but sometimes I overcommit myself just if people ask me for help, I can’t really say no. I’ve done plenty of meeting up with people outside of my hours at the ARC if they need tutoring help. I try to make time for people.”
Basketball season hasn’t started yet, but coming off a strong season with the majority of last year’s team returning, Reynolds knows this season has the potential to be special.
“I’ve fallen in love with this team,” Reynolds said. “I’ve told my teammates plenty of times, every year I’ve been here it’s gotten better.”
With seven new members to this year’s team, the team has played pick-up basketball every day since they’ve arrived and Reynolds believes the chemistry is already there.
“Every recruit we have here I think I met them all beforehand when they came to visit,” Reynolds said. “Coach Bona, he’ll ask our opinion on the people who come and if they’d be a good fit for the team, and every single one of them has fit in.”
Reynolds knows how difficult it is for freshmen making the transition from high school, as she’s been in their shoes.
“My freshman year, I hated coming in not knowing who my teammates were,” Reynolds said. “So that very first day that everyone was here, we had a meeting just to let everyone know that as the returners we’re there for you whatever you need, you’re not alone here, we are a team. So we had a meeting like that and just kind of hung out, and then that Saturday we went bowling, perks of having a bowling alley on campus. Coach Bona came and hung out with us, we ordered pizza, stayed in there for two hours, building a community from the beginning.”
Last year, Reynolds took on a leadership role on the team, sending out reminders and arranging group outings, however this year she’s had to delegate those tasks knowing she won’t be around next year.
“I’ve started delegating different things to different people, there are a few girls who I can ask to send a reminder out and they’ll get it done,” Reynolds said. “It’s exciting, pick up has gone great, the energy and excitement, no one has a bad attitude about it. Everyone is willing to work and it gets tough but it’s great.”
Throughout her time at Emmanuel, Reynolds noted one faculty member who has made an impact on her life. “Dr. Scranton, definitely,” Reynolds said. “He is in our Math department and my first six classes were all with him. I am also his work study now, I started last year grading some papers for him. From day one, I loved the way he ran his class, he introduces himself and gives out his phone number for if we ever need to call or text him with a question. It always means a lot to me, before we sit down to grade tests he always says, “Before we start, I know you’re always busy and have stuff to do, but how are you doing today? How’s basketball and your classes?” He always takes the time to see what’s going on in my life. He comes to our games too. I love seeing him in the stands, I’ll tell my parents, “Mom, this is my math teacher, he’s at my game right now.” He’s definitely been a huge part of my time here.”
Reynolds looked at several schools before finding Emmanuel, and found that in the end, it’s best to go where God calls you, which is the advice she’d give student athletes looking at Emmanuel or to play in college in general.
“Different schools are not for everyone and I figured that out,” Reynolds said. “The other schools I looked at, they weren’t for me and when I got to Emmanuel it was a perfect fit for me. I would say don’t come here just for your sport. Your sport is a big part of it, you need to get along with your teammates and coach, but really focus on your education. I’ve always been big on academics do come first, you’re in college to get a degree. Don’t take your academics lightly, do well in your sport, do well in the classroom and I think you’ll love it here.”