© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Dalyce Emmerson returned to her alma mater on Thursday to talk to the large crowd in attendance for the annual Carlton Comprehensive High School awards banquet. Emmerson graduated two years ago from Carlton and has been a standout with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women's basketball team while taking classes in kiniesiology.
She has only been away from Carlton Comprehensive High School for two years, but Dalyce Emmerson is certainly someone to look up to.
Forget the fact she is 6-foot-3; the 19-year-old basketball star has accomplished quite a bit in her first two seasons with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the irony of all that success is basketball wasn’t even something she considered to pursue until very late in her high school career.
“I loved volleyball more than basketball,” Emmerson told a large crowd at the annual Carlton sports banquet on Thursday. “Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone and see what other options are in store for you.”
Emmerson had actually selected soccer as her sport of choice when she was growing up and then switched to volleyball when she joined the Toppers program. It was while her friend Erica Gavel was being recruited by the U of S that she developed an interest in basketball.
“The decision I made as a 17-year-old was a tough one,” admitted Emmerson who had to choose between a volleyball scholarship at the University of Texas or playing basketball at the U of S. “You always learn something about yourself – good or bad – if you test your comfort zone.”
“Basketball is my thing now,” added Emmerson.
The results certainly speak for themselves.
Emmerson averaged more than 13 points and 10 rebounds per game in her freshman season and as a result was named the Canada West rookie of the year. This past season her offense jumped to 17.5 points per game while bringing in just under nine rebounds per game. That production got her named to the Canada West first all-star team.
“The second year was different,” admitted Emmerson. “People had expectations because they knew me.”
That isn’t always a bad thing as her rise in stature has gotten Emmerson invited to a development camp in Toronto for the women’s national team that will be travelling to Kazan, Russia next month for the Universiade Games. Emmerson, who leaves Tuesday, will be competing against 25 others for 12 spots on the team and she admits it would be a nice accomplishment to make the team.
“It would be a very cool experience,” said Emmerson, who just finished her second year of studies in kinesiology. “I never even played on a provincial team so to make a national team would expand my basketball skills.”
Emmerson’s speech, which was uplifting, encouraging and offered the athletes in attendance some guidance in thinking outside the box, preceded the presentation of the most outstanding athlete awards – something Emmerson claimed twice while attending Carlton.
Winning the top junior female award was Carly Zultok while Matthew Meyer and Cole Sanderson shared the top junior male honour. Devereaux Gatin captured the top senior male athlete award and Tashawna Belhumeur took home the top senior female athlete award.
Athletes who captured provincial medals during the school year were also acknowledged with those being: Cory Sawchuk – bronze in golf; Zach Hurd – gold in golf; Carlton boys golf team – gold; Tashawna Belhumeur – gold in wrestling; Matthew Meyer – gold in shot put and discus; Kelsey Fenton – gold in pole vault.
Every sport also saluted its most inspirational player. They were: golf – Cory Sawchuk; cross-country running – Skylar Koroluk; soccer – Breanne Grimard, Brianne Parschauer and Hayden Toon; junior football – Matthew Lavallee; senior football – Lukas McConechy; junior volleyball – Rahul Parekh, Skylar Koroluk, Paige Felix, Rene McCallum, Kyla Tienkamp, Sadie Olsen, Megan Miler; senior volleyball – Sean Christianson, Drew Poetker, Rylie Bonkowski, Breanne Fisher; curling – Jaymeka Leia; wrestling – Paige Gallivan; junior basketball – Paige Gallivan, Ashley Dron, Logan Hobson, Vlad Grujic, Michael Olthuis, Matthew Lavallee, Albert Cooper; senior basketball – Kendall Parenteau, Morgan Braaten, Lukas McConechy, Drew Poetker; badminton – Alex Zhou, Travis Filteau; track and field – Landon Leonard, Kelsey Fenton, Thomas McIntosh, Kyra Ives.