by Katie Heneghan, Web Editor
Emily LaPointe has demonstrated excellent talent in her rookie season for the women’s basketball team, being honored by the MAAC as Rookie of the Week five times. LaPointe, a Staten Island native, attributes much of her success to her coaching staff and teammates.
The Quadrangle: How long have you been playing basketball for?
Emily LaPointe: I started playing in second grade. So basically, I played because my brother played. And I was just always around him and his teammates and they would never let me play with them. So I wanted to become really good at it and then that’s really when I started playing.
TQ: How does college basketball differ from high school basketball for you? How has the transition been?
EL: High school is definitely a lot slower. College is quicker and more physical. I’ve learned that you need to be craftier with how you play rather than just go off the basics. It’s been a pretty good transition. My team has made it a lot easier to transition into college basketball so that’s something I’m thankful for.
TQ: Why did you choose Manhattan College?
EL: I wanted to be close to home. When the recruiting process began, I knew that, you know, your breaks are so limited and the time you have home is limited and, I’m a big family girl. So I wanted my family to be able to come and I just kind of fell in love with the coaching staff and the team and what they’re doing and trying to accomplish. You know, they’re very family oriented team. And they’re also people who want to see you succeed not only on the court, they look for your best interest off the court as well. It really was the team, my family and the coaching staff.
TQ: How have you found balance between your first year at school and athletics?
EL: First semester was rough. It was really, really difficult. It was tough to balance your sleep, your social life, your academics, your athletics, but I kind of learned along the way that you just have to take it one thing at a time. Playing basketball was my safe space. That is when I knew I was the least stressed. When I was practicing because it got me away from my homework and my tests and everything. So basically just taking one thing at a time is how I learned to balance everything.
TQ: Did you walk into this season with any major goals for yourself or the team?
EL: Yes, I wanted to win. Obviously, win a MAAC championship. That’s my goal for all four years that I will be here because I knew that that was what they were trying to build as a program was a team that wins. My main goal first was to just come in here and help them accomplish that. Honestly speaking, I did not expect to be accomplishing what I’ve accomplished in playing as much as I am playing. I knew my talent, but you’re starting at the bottom. You go from senior year being, you know, the main player, and then you’re coming into a program where everyone was their main player and they’re all great. We’re a very talented team. So I just wanted to make any sort of difference that I could when I got in and and thankfully, I’ve been blessed to be able to be in a role where I am a key player. So definitely to win a MAAC championship and then as the season started, I hoped I would be able to accomplish Rookie of the Year and that’s a big goal of mine that I hope to accomplish.
TQ: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions you follow?
EL: Actually, it’s kind of strange. I don’t nap. My biggest thing is to keep moving like I literally do not sit still. I get ready and I just come to the gym even if it’s just sitting in the bleachers just to keep myself going. I don’t really listen to music. Most of the time, honestly, I listen to motivational speeches and sometimes I’ll listen to some kind of Christian music. I just kind of need to be in the gym and in that environment to get myself ready.
TQ: How would you describe the team dynamic?
EL: It’s great. Something I’m really thankful for is that we all value each other as individuals and what each person has to bring to the team. They’re my sisters and our relationship is not just on the court, and that’s something I’m thankful for. In other college environments, you have to get along because you have to play together. As for us, we do everything together. When we step off the court, we’re looking for each other.
TQ: What has been your favorite memory this season?
EL: Honestly, probably when Emma Bedeker got her scholarship. She is someone who brings a lot of energy and personality to the team. She’s just that uplifting face every day and I’m just genuinely happy for her. That’s something that was really special and exciting to be a part of.
TQ:You’ve won MAAC rookie of the week 5 times now. How does it feel to have such great success in your first season as a Jasper?
EL: It’s a blessing. I thank God every day for keeping me healthy and and being able to accomplish what I’ve accomplished. But I do not take credit for it. I know I give all the credit to my coaches and teammates, because they’re really the reason. You can’t do by yourself. There is no I in team and, you know, my coaching staff and my teammates instill that confidence in me. I have a really supportive team and coaching staff and they make it happen for me.
TQ: How do you feel about your team’s performance to date? What are you most looking forward to?
EL: We’re doing well and we’re still trying to figure it out. We have a lot of growth that can be done as a team, but I really think that we’re getting ourselves in the mindset of being the best we can be. We’re getting there.
TQ: Do you have a favorite pro athlete you look up to most?
EL: Yeah, obviously Kobe Bryant. He was great on and off the court. I’m a big Steph Curry fan as well. He’s probably one of my favorites.