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Wait paid off for Missoula Sentinel standout, Eastern Washington commit Emily McElmurry

Emily McElmurry
Posted at 2:55 PM, Apr 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-19 18:25:38-04

MISSOULA — Emily McElmurry had a belief that she could get an opportunity to play college basketball.

That opportunity just needed to present itself, and the Sentinel senior would do the rest.

"I just knew I wanted to try to play at a high level. And so for me, it was worth the wait," McElmurry told MTN Sports. "And I knew that God had a plan and that he put it on my heart for a reason that I wanted to play at that level. So I just kept grinding, and eventually it worked out."

That moment came to fruition earlier this week as McElmurry was offered and committed to Eastern Washington's women's basketball program, as she'll compete both at the D1 level and within the Big Sky Conference.

Emily McElmurry

"They're just really genuine people. And they just believed in me," McElmurry said. "And they saw my film, and they contacted me right away. And it was just a super smooth recruiting process with them. And the girls, they have a really close knit group."

McElmurry has been an all-state performer and one of Montana's top scorers during her career, but the athletic guard has battled ups and downs as well.

Quad injuries her freshman and junior seasons in track and field caused obstacles along the way as she was beginning to show potential as a college athlete in a pair of sports.

"I think for a while, I didn't even know what I wanted to do, because it was between track and basketball. So it was just tough because I felt like a lot was riding on my junior season for track," McElmurry said. "So I was dealing with that and also trying to compete in club basketball during that time, too. So I just felt a lot of stress with what I was going to do. And if it was all going to work out for me."

Then there was the long recruiting process, with McElmurry's commitment coming later than most. She had her heart set on basketball and waited for the right chance.

"It meant everything. I was actually at the gym during that time," she said. "I got the phone call. And so me and my dad are sitting, we're sitting in my car and they offer me the scholarship. And I like look at him and I'm like waiting for a reaction.

"He's just kind of like looking at me. And I was so excited and they could definitely like hear it in my voice and then, got off the phone and called on my coaches and it was just a really special moment."

Now she's bound for the Eagles program, as McElmurry joins a long line of family college athletes and is set to make her dream a reality.

"I think it's just like a good life lesson for me just knowing to like stick with it and to know what I really want and to just go after it," she said. "And for all things not just basketball but just in life that just like don't give up and just to keep going and so I think that was important to me. I really learned that."