Miles Lockhart admits he never thought football would be his future when he was younger.
He started off as a soccer player, and a self-proclaimed “chubby” one at that. He started to dabble in tackle football when he was 8 years old but never truly fell in love with it right away. His parents, David and Stevie, saw potential in him, even if he didn’t see it in himself.
He stuck with the game and by the time he reached the seventh grade, his baby fat began to fall off. That’s also around the time he started to see what football could offer him. Now in the middle of his junior season at Basha High School, Miles isn’t just a starting cornerback for a Bears team that figures to make a run at the Open Division title this season.
He’s one of the top cornerbacks in the country for the 2024 class while only playing at the position for two years.
“People ask me if I thought this would ever happen,” Miles said. “And, like, no, to be honest. I thought it could happen but it’s just a really humbling experience. To look back on that, you would never really think I would be at where I am now.
“It’s been a great experience.”
Miles’ approach to football is simple: Stay hungry. Stay humble. Never settle.
He helped lead Basha to a 10-0 regular season record last year as a sophomore. But the Bears lost in the first round of the playoffs. That isn’t good enough for Miles.
He’s been a starter at the varsity level since his freshman year, when head coach Chris McDonald saw his athleticism and knew he would be able to contribute at a young age to build what has now become Basha’s core group of players. Yet, he isn’t satisfied without a win in the postseason.
Miles knows the attention that is on him to be a leader and among the top players on a loaded Basha defense. He thrives off those expectations and doesn’t gloat. Instead, he stays humble.
“That has come with maturity,” McDonald said. “He’s also got teammates that are going through the same thing as him. Everyone knows he’s a phenomenal player and we have several phenomenal players.
“I think for him, he knows he isn’t the only guy getting recognition, so he keeps things in perspective. He doesn’t have to go around and be the guy.”
Miles’ athleticism comes from his family. David ran track and played football at the University of Arizona, where he met Stevie, who played flag football at Arizona. His older sister, Makenzie, became a professional dancer. Mia is currently a junior playing soccer at Alabama A&M.
Along with his parents, Miles was always pushed by his older sisters to succeed. They wanted what was best for him just as much as he does. And like their parents, they saw the potential he had early on.
It took countless hours of training to get to where Miles is today. But he isn’t satisfied. His four-star rating by recruiting websites and countless letters from colleges are great, but he aims to win a championship as a team with Basha.
His ability to become a leader at a young age is something that stands out the most. He’s vocal and not afraid to point out mistakes by himself and others. But he’s also become a role model for younger athletes in the program that aim to have similar success he has with the Bears.
It’s made both of his parents proud.
“As a family, we are extremely proud of him,” David said. “We are certainly glad about what he has accomplished. But we are also proud of how hard he works. He’s taken ownership. He’s committed to being the best possible person and athlete he can be.”
“He’s my baby boy,” Stevie added. “The fact that he is not only a great athlete but more importantly a great student and kid, that’s representing us and our name. That’s a huge goal of mine that my kids can go out and be good people.”
Miles currently holds offers from most Power Five programs across the country. His most recent offers are from Big 12 schools Kansas and Kansas State. Those two were added to the list that includes Arizona State, Iowa, Louisville, Ohio State and Oregon, among several others.
While still nearly two full seasons away, Miles is cementing his legacy within the Basha program. And he’s doing it alongside the likes of junior quarterback Demond Williams, one of his best friends who also began his career as the starter on varsity as a freshman and has blossomed into one of the top quarterbacks in the country.
Their legacy, however, doesn’t involve personal accolades. They want to set Basha up for success for years to come.
“It’s not that I need to leave my own legacy, I want this to be a destination school,” Miles said. “I want this program to win a state championship and be in the national rankings.”
When thinking back to his football career thus far, Miles can’t help but thank his family. He was never forced into playing sports, but when he decided he wanted to he had full support from those around him.
He knows his journey is just getting started, and his future is bright. But keeping a level head is something that is important to him. He wants to let success come naturally.
“It really is a humbling experience,” Lockhart said. “It showcases how my parents raised us. They raised us to never quit and believe in what we believe in. They’re always there for us, they always pushed us.
“I thank them and my sisters a lot for everything.”
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