Student Athlete of the Week: Houston Emory
ST. GEORGE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- State title celebrations have become the norm for Houston Emory in his four years at Blue Ridge helping the Barons to win three-straight VISAA D-II championships, but when Emory first arrived he found a team looking for redemption.
"Definitely because of them losing the year prior in the state championship that whole environment and mindset of we got to come back next year hungry and it was great," Emory recalled, "It was honestly a really good environment to have in my first year, it really showed me what kind of program this is and how they're going to attack every game."
Those early practices were a wake up call for Emory, battling against future Division I players as he waited his turn to see the court.
"Selfless in nature to where he knows it wasn't going to happen right away," Blue Ridge head coach Cade Lemcke said, "So his freshman year when he had Jaden Frazier, he was learning from Jaden, as a sophomore he had Sasha Glushkov and Andy Nwaoko that he was playing alongside, so taking things from them and learning. Knowing that his time would come."
"I think the best part about being able to practice against such high-level players every day was that when you get to the game it just becomes so easy that you already know and you're prepared to do what you're supposed to do when you get into the game and I think that really helped me right off the bat," Emory said.
Emory has gone from a gangly big guy to a leader and a skilled big man on another talented Barons team, collecting multiple Division I offers himself.
"Maybe as big as any player we've ever had is the growth and development over four years," Lemcke said, "He's just another one of these guys who understand, they waited their turn, but they've learned so much not only on the court, but off the court."
Houston is in no rush to find his future college home, instead focused on keeping the hunger alive he first saw four years ago as Blue Ridge takes aim at a fourth-straight state title.
"I think it's just another to mark off on the check list that this year will hopefully end up being very special and I think we have to complete it," Emory said, "It would be kind of a signing off thing being all four years and hopefully all four state championships."