Emily Perszyk put together a strong senior season for the Greendale girls basketball team in 2013-14.
She averaged 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 steals in helping the Panthers post eight victories, a nice increase from three in 2012-13.
The remarkable part is that her season might not have even happened.
Perszyk was frustrated with her 3-20 junior campaign and considered not playing as a senior.
"After the season, I did think about it," she said, "but then I went to a shooting camp in the spring, and I realized I could make a larger contribution to the team the next season.
"Also, I knew that basketball is a sport I could not live without, especially in my senior year."
"In the summer, Emily focused on improving her shooting and her drive to the basket," said Greendale head coach Julie Hahm. "She was going to make sure that Greendale had a more successful season."
Perszyk did just that, as the Panthers went 8-15 and were much more competitive, and for her contributions and leadership, she is a member of the NOW Newspapers All-Suburban team.
Hahm said the honor is an appropriate reward for her dedication and efforts.
"She has worked very hard over the last three years to become the player that she is," the coach said. "Emily is a leader on the team for her work ethic and her intensity. She is a pretty incredible person to work with because she always wants to be her best and knows how to be self-disciplined to achieve her goal."
Hahm said Perszyk's contributions to the team went beyond Greendale's games.
"As one of the captains, she kept practices at a high level of intensity with her work ethic and drive for perfection," she said. "She makes each of her teammates better by challenging them."
Perszyk said the main reason for the Panthers' surge this season was a more diversified offense.
"We wanted to use as many people on the court as possible," she said. "We wanted to find multiple ways to score. Last year, we had an inside presence, but this year, we did more outside shooting and driving. We made use of the open lanes."
Perszyk was a major part of that strategy, as she netted 44 3-point shots but also created plenty of offense for herself and others by her drives to the basket.
"Her role on this team was to score, and she did that very well," Hahm said.
That was not her only role on the Panthers, however. Perszyk also was a strong defender, averaging those 3.7 steals and coming up with eight in one contest this season.
"She defended the ballhandler for the opposing team and is a tremendous one-on-one defender," Hahm said.
Perszyk added, "I love the on-ball pressure, and I like to make steals off the dribble. I also can anticipate the passes."
Loves the game
She also simply loves playing the game of basketball, adding, "I like the competition, the quick pace of the game and the relationships that are built."
Perszyk will attend Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., this fall. She plans to major in neuroscience and will consider playing basketball there.
Whatever she decides about continuing her playing career, she is just happy she did indeed come back for her senior season at Greendale. Hahm, her teammates and Panther fans are happy too.
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