Quick first step

One of the best memories I have of Myleka Emerson is when El Cerrito played host Pinole Valley for the second time during the 05-06 season. It was late in the third quarter and Emerson drove left was met by two defenders but eluded both by spinning back toward the center of the key and finishing with an uncontested lay up. Unfortunately, the referees called traveling, something the crowd even the Pinole Valley contingent disagreed with. The parent of a Pinole Valley player let the ref know by saying "She didn’t travel. The move was just too quick for you." Which it was.

So it was a little shocking when I found out that Emerson wasn’t being recruited to play at the next level. Her first step was by far the quickest I saw all year, and trust me I saw a lot of basketball. She took shots no one else wanted, including the Gauchos second game of the 05-06 season where she sat most of the game in foul trouble but came in with under 30 seconds to play and took the game-winning shot. The shot rolled off the rim and El Cerrito lost 40-39 to Lynwood. She was one of the unquestioned leaders of an El Cerrito team that won its first North Coast Section title since 1988. That is why I was glad to hear she was off to the University of Missouri-Kansas City with former Gauchos and fellow freshman Chazny Morris. 

Thanks to Ron Williams for letting me know about Emerson’s story and what she did to overcome it. Thank you also to Carrie and XL Emerson for allowing me into your home and sharing your story.

The only bad news to come out of this story is that Carrie will have to find a new person to drive her around on her errands. Not to worry Solomon, Emerson’s younger brother, should be driving in about three years.