In high school, basketball player Sierra Ducey knew she would be on the court. Where, however, was always in question.
“Depending on who we were playing against,” said Ducey, a marketing communication major, “I would sometimes handle the ball, play on the wing, or play in the high post.”
Now, as a freshman on the Emerson women’s basketball team, Ducey knows where she will play each game — in the paint as a forward.
“[Ducey] can pass from the forward position,” said head coach Bill Gould. “She is a facilitator of the offense.”
Gould said Ducey’s basketball experience has helped her solidify her new position.
“She understands the game, so she can play multiple roles and positions,” said Gould. “She has such great versatility, and she can blend in with any style of play.”
At six feet, Ducey is one of the tallest players on Emerson’s team. She was on varsity for all four years of high school.
“My team was always good, especially my senior year,” she said. “We played against some of the best teams in the nation.”
Ducey averaged 8.3 points per a game as a senior, according to the high school sports website MaxPreps. Her team, The Bishop’s School in San Diego, was ranked 40th in the nation.
Ducey said she was ready for a change of scenery.
“I’ve been playing against the same people since like seventh grade,” she said. “So just having new competition is fun.”
Teammate Kelsey Johnson, a junior forward, said the squad has already felt Ducey’s impact after the first few games of the season.
“[Ducey] has been able to give us a faster-paced and more efficient offense,” said Johnson, a marketing communication major. “We can rely on her to bring the ball up the court, shoot, and pass if we need her to. It makes the entire team feel more confident.”
Ducey joins a team that struggled in the 2013-2014 season. The Lions went 8-17 overall, but just 4-16 in their first year of conference play in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. They failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Despite last season’s underwhelming record, Ducey said she sees some strengths in her new team.
“We know when we are doing well and when we need to improve,” she said. “We can identify when positives and negatives are happening.”
Johnson, who started 17 games last year and played in all 25, agreed with her new teammate.
“I think our biggest strength, though, is that all of us are so ready to do well this season, so we have been, and will be, working extremely hard to do well,” she said.
Ducey, who came off the bench in the first three games of the season, still managed to average eight points per game, including 12 in the team’s win against Fisher College. She has also controlled the boards, grabbing nine rebounds in each game.
To Ducey, though, it’s not about her personal successes.
“If the team is doing well,” Ducey said, “then that’s what’s important.”