Junior sharpshooter expands game for women’s basketball team

Always an excellent shooter, Emily, ‘18, is shooting four times as many freethrows this season as last year… and making 93 percent of them

Tanner Smith

Emily Perszyk, ’18, was primarily a three-point shooter in her freshman and sophomore years. As a junior, she has introduced a new dimension to her offensive arsenal: putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket.

As a career 34.5 percent shooter behind the arc in her college career, Perszyk has always been a threat to score for the Generals. She has had an expanded role this season, however, and is averaging 35.4 minutes per game. That is a big jump after playing just 21.5 minutes per game her freshman year and 26.4 minutes per game her sophomore year.

“I am definitely trying to drive to the basket a lot more and I definitely practiced free throws a lot over the summer hoping that this would be the case that I would get to the line a lot more,” Persyzk said. “My game in high school was built upon free throws and I kind of lost that in college having taller and better defenders. My own teammates were blocking me in practice all the time so it was harder to finish around the basket. I am trying to bring that back in and the free throws have definitely been a part of that.”

Perszyk’s rededication to her driving game yielded major results in the Generals’ game against Randolph-Macon on Nov. 29. Even though the team lost 76–84, Persyzk got to the free throw line 19 times and made 17 of them. Captain Jackie Clifford, ’17, thinks that Perszyk’s driving and overall game has a positive impact on the entire team.

“She is really good at setting up her teammates and putting them in good positions,” Clifford said. “She is looking to drive and then kick it out to get her teammates betters shots. I think she always really competes with 100 percent of her ability, which makes the team better because throughout practices and games she is always giving it her all, which I think encourages her teammates to give it their all as well, which I think makes us all better.”

Head Coach Christine Clancy has been enthralled by Perszyk’s work ethic over her time as a General.

“She [Perszyk] is probably the hardest working player I have ever experienced in my life,” Clancy said. “When she has a goal she just works her tail off until she accomplishes it. She is never really satisfied. That is how she plays; she leaves everything out on the court, she is diving on the floor constantly.”

While Perszyk has enjoyed the fact that she has an expanded role this year, she would prefer to focus on the team. Despite a slow 2-3 start, she is still confident that the team can make a run in ODAC play.

“So far we have been playing well, even though our record may not show it,” Perszyk said. “We are a quicker team overall and we have a lot of girls that like to run and are ready to run. I would say that were are dynamic and the ways in which we are dynamic now are still being improved upon so I am hoping that our identity in the end is truly dynamic.”