Dalyce Emmerson was watching a basketball game earlier this year when she received a phone call and found out that she was going to be entering the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.
“I was shocked,” Emmerson said. “I honestly thought that they had the wrong number.
“I knew why they were calling but I honestly thought they were calling to ask me about my dad (Randy). I had to ask a few times if they were serious as I definitely didn’t expect it.”
Emmerson, who will be entering the Hall of Fame in the athlete category, was a multi-sport athlete growing up as she was involved in basketball, soccer and volleyball leagues.
“My older sister (Kylie) played soccer at first so I joined her in that when I was four years old,” Emmerson said. “Then we started playing basketball and volleyball on the half-courts in school and we just had a lot of fun.
“Nothing was forced on us…it (sports) was something that we all grew up watching, especially with my dad being a coach.”
Emmerson would go on to play for the Carlton Crusaders senior girls’ basketball and volleyball programs for three seasons and was named the senior athlete of the year in 2010 and 2011.
She was part of the Crusaders’ volleyball program that won a silver medal at provincials in 2010 and a basketball team that earned a bronze medal at Hoopla in 2009 and followed that up with a gold medal triumph a year later.
“We had lost a bunch of Grade 12’s from the 2009 team and I think a lot of people weren’t expecting us to be as good that year,” Emmerson said.
“We kind of caught ourselves by surprise a little bit at first with how we played, but we all clicked really well and we didn’t have a lot of pressure on ourselves, which stands out a lot as I look back on that season.”
Several schools in Canada and the United States recruited Emmerson to play basketball and volleyball at the post-secondary level, but she elected to stay close to home and compete for the Saskatchewan Huskies basketball program as a forward.
“It came down to the location,” Emmerson said. “I had narrowed it down to a school on the Texas and Mexico border where I was going to play volleyball, or I could stay close to home in Saskatoon and play basketball.
“It kind of hit me one day that I didn’t want to move 3,000 miles away from. The Huskies program was already enjoying success, my family was close and my older sister was there, so everything just kind of lined up for me to go to Saskatoon.”
Although it took a little bit of adjustment to get used to basketball at the Canada West level, Emmerson would go on to finish her career with the Huskies in the top 10 all-time in the conference for points scored, rebounds, rebounds per game, blocked shots and blocked shots per game.
She also earned Canada West rookie of the year honours in 2012, was named Canada West’s most outstanding player and the Huskies’ female athlete of the year in 2014, and received the school’s all-around female athlete of the year award in 2016.
“I think I finally felt comfortable during my third year there,” Emmerson said. “I had started to gain more confidence that I could do my job and by Christmas time I had a lot better idea of what to expect.
“It’s obviously a big jump from high school to university as everything about the game happens a lot quicker and you have to make a lot of adjustments.”
Emmerson’s highlight with the Huskies came during her final season as the team captured their first national title with an 85-71 win over the Ryerson Rams in Fredericton, N.B. on March 20, 2016.
“We had a really good team the year before (where they finished in fourth place at the nationals in Quebec City) and I think many of us felt like that might have been our best chance,” Emmerson said.
“As we were getting ready for the 2015-16 season, everyone was on the same page when it came to our goals. We knew that we could win the championship if we all put the time in. Everyone jumped on board and away we went.”
Since returning to Prince Albert, Emmerson has become a coach as she serves as an assistant for the Crusaders basketball team and the Prince Albert Optimist Toppers club program.
“I had coached a little bit in Saskatoon with the Junior Huskies program and I really liked it,” Emmerson said.
“I like providing feedback to the players and I wanted to give back to the game and share the knowledge that I had gained during my career.”