Kamloops, BC—When Emily Ferguson sat down to think about where she wanted to go to University and play basketball, it didn’t take her too much time to make a decision.
The 5’7 guard from NorKam Secondary almost automatically chose Thompson Rivers University and the WolfPack. “I did have a backup plan but I have always wanted to attend here,” she laughed. “TRU and the basketball program here have had so much to do with my family and myself while growing up. All the girls and Scott (head coach Reeves) have had huge influences on my basketball development.”
So it was with great pleasure that Coach Reeves and the WolfPack are announcing that Emily is their first recruit for the 2018-19 season.
Ferguson’s father Chuck is the assistant coach with the WolfPack. During her time developing her love of basketball, she got ‘up close and personal’ with many of the players. One in particular was her role model.
“Taiysa Worsfold especially,” Ferguson said referring to the former Sa-Hali and WolfPack captain who was a CIS Academic All Canadian during her five years at Thompson Rivers. “Taiysa helped train me when I was younger. We worked twice a week. She helped me improve my game. Half the reason I am here is because of her. She taught me offense and ball handling.”
Ferguson is hoping to get into the nursing program at Thompson Rivers. She says Worsfold’s community involvement is something she would like to emulate as well as her success on the court.
Ferguson played this summer for the Triple Threat U-17 program which is run by current Langara College head coach (and former WolfPack assistant) Winston Brown.
“While our team had mixed results, Emily could always be counted on for a steady defensive effort and timely shooting.”
Brown adds: “Beyond shooting and defensive effort, Emily has a pretty high basketball IQ. Having been around quality coaches and players since she was young, she has been able to soak up much of what she witnessed.”
“Emily has always had a passion to play at the next level,” says Reeves. “She has shown great determination and commitment to bettering herself in the classroom and on the court. When it came time to consider her options for post-secondary, she immediately showed and interest in TRU. Being familiar with our culture and emphasis on academics and athletics she was excited to make her commitment to us. Em is very familiar with how we do things at TRU. She has developed through the KBA and in later years helped us coached at KBA. To see local talent be inspired to play at TRU is really touching to our coaching staff. We are so happy to have Emily commit to TRU WBB.
Brown says the future is bright for Ferguson. “Emily has the opportunity to develop into a solid utility guard coming off the bench. Coach Reeves is very demanding but will also give his athletes every opportunity to prove themselves. If Emily listens to the coaching staff and works diligently, she will be one of those players whose contributions may not show up on the stats sheet, but will be celebrated in the locker room. Those types of players are the foundation of any quality program.”
Ferguson has not only a connection with how the WolfPack program operates but two seasons ago she was a teammate of current rookies Megan Rouault (Vernon, BC) and Alley Corrado (Kelowna, BC) with the Junior Heat summer program. “They are great players. I am looking forward to being their teammate again and enjoying success at the Canada West level.”
When asked why she decided to make a commitment to a university early on. “I really wanted to do it early and to TRU. I am happy so I can relax and enjoy my final year of high school and get better as a player.”
The obvious question: How much did father Chuck have to do in her decision to stay and home. “Not too much,” Emily says candidly. “He obviously wanted me to come to TRU because it was his dream as well. But he was open to other options.”
DOUBLE DRIBBLES: Brown on Ferguson: “Emily’s value to the program goes beyond court results. As Coach Reeves continues to cement the WolfPack culture, Emily is both figuratively and literally family. Its kids who not only dream of putting on the uniform but also, more importantly, are willing to put in the hard work necessary to compete that the program needs to embrace. Emily has looked up to the outstanding role models that have put on the orange and black jersey and, I know from talking to her, the chance to wear the same colors is truly a dream come true! Congrats to Emily, Chuck and Sandy, Scott and the rest of the WolfPack community.”