Written by Quinn Wilson
As Fontbonne women’s basketball finishes its 2016-2017 season, Emmie Haring finishes a career that her coach Maureen Sias compares to her own hall of fame teammates when she played at Fontbonne. The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) awarded Haring with a number of accolades along with the many school records she has shattered in her time. Haring leaves Fontbonne basketball after four years of growth, standout play, and frustration.
The SLIAC has selected her as a three-time all-conference player, two-time all-defensive team player, owns the records in single-season and career assists in the SLIAC and capped off her senior year as the SLIAC co-player of the year. This does not even begin to touch on the mark she has made for the Fontbonne women’s basketball program. Her team selected her as a three-time team MVP. She broke the records for the most assists in a game, single season and career, and holds the record for most steals in a single-game. Haring gained national attention this season as she finished #2 in assists in DIII basketball and had the 5th most assists in a game in the nation with 14.
The Griffins would finish the 2016-2017 with their winningest season in five years with a 13-13 record. They earned the fourth seed in the SLIAC postseason tournament and fell short of the championship game after falling to Eureka College. Making the SLIAC postseason tournament was the “topping of the cake” for Haring’s basketball career.
Both Haring and her coach were not paying attention to the records being broken or her standings in the national rankings. Coach Sias said that she wanted to recognize Haring’s achievements throughout the season, but could hardly keep track of every new accolade each week. Coach Sias loved watching her mature into a great leader this past season. “She has matured leaps and bounds over the course of three years.”
Haring began playing basketball as just a recreational hobby, but once she reached high school, it became her passion.
“I decided to focus on basketball throughout high school because I know I wanted to play further.”
She attended the perennial basketball powerhouse St. Joseph’s Academy; the school made an appearance in the Missouri Class 5 State Championship game in 2013. Haring’s high school career did not go as well as she would have liked. She felt that she had to take a back-seat role to her Division I-bound teammates. She did not have much confidence in her abilities at the time. However, she put her faith into Fontbonne University for the next four years of her life.
Upon the start of her career at Fontbonne, frustration still remained a part of her life. Her freshman year continued to challenge her because she did not find too many minutes on the basketball court and still did not see herself as being good enough. Following her freshman year, she began to doubt her future at Fontbonne.
In 2014, former Griffin’s coach Matt Wickenhauser left the program, along with five of Haring’s teammates. After all of the departures in the women’s basketball program, she also thought about leaving. “I didn’t know if basketball was my thing anymore.”
Transferring schools was constantly on her mind. At one moment she considered taking her talents to Maryville University, while at others she wanted to cease basketball all together and further her education at a larger institution.
Haring made it clear that she wanted Fontbonne alumnus Maureen Sias to get the job. Fontbonne hired Coach Sias and Haring’s basketball career began to make a 180 degree turn for the better. Coach Sias immediately noticed Haring’s skill on the basketball court.
“Her ability and vision on the court is amazing.”
Coach Sias began to play Haring on average 30+ minutes per game her sophomore year. But even getting the playing time and attention she had been wanting since high school, Haring still had a number of personal struggles.
In Haring’s words, her attitude sophomore year was “terrible.” Haring’s relationship with Coach Sias didn’t exactly start off on the right foot.
“We butted heads at first…I wouldn’t agree with the things she said, she wouldn’t agree with things I said. When it came down to it, I was wrong.”
Coach Sias understood: being put into a starting point guard position at a young age was challenging. Leadership skills did not come prepackaged with the position.
“Stepping into a leadership role like that so quickly and so young took a little bit of learning on both of our parts.”
During her sophomore campaign, Haring began to make noise on the court. She finished the season seventh in assists per game in Division III and the SLIAC selected her to 3rd Team All-Conference.
Entering her junior season, her team selected her as a captain. Haring’s drive has pushed her throughout her entire basketball career thus far, a drive that stems from her experiencing playing in high school.
“Everyone was like the star and I was just there,” Haring stated.
She always wanted to do her best for the team, and that has been a major driving force in her time at Fontbonne. Even with her individual successes, Haring still wanted her team to begin making headlines.
In her first two years having a starting role, the women’s team fell from having 11 wins to only eight. Entering senior year, Haring wanted nothing more than to help get her team into the SLIAC postseason tournament, which the women’s team had not made since 2010.
“Going into your last game and knowing it’s your last game is literally the worst feeling.”
With her competitive drive, not making the postseason tournament was not an option for her senior year. The women’s team reached that goal through an increase in scoring production from Haring. Haring wanted to improve in scoring as well as continuing to provide assists to her teammates. After training all of summer 2016, for first time in her career Haring scored 20+ points in a single game twice. Coach Sias knew Haring could accomplish whatever she put her mind to.
“I was amazed. As a coach you’re so excited to see the hard work that someone puts in paying off in such a noticeable way.”
Haring plans on graduating next winter with a degree in Sports Management. She intends to obtain her masters in education from UMSL and begin a career as an English teacher and a high school basketball coach. Two long-term goals of hers are to go to the state championship as a coach and to one day become an athletic director. Haring knows that she can walk away from Fontbonne basketball knowing she gave her all. She leaves feeling proudest of “not quitting and achieving more than I ever thought I could do.”
Adjusting to a life after basketball, Haring describes the transition as strange. Haring and her family are now stuck asking themselves, “Okay, what do we do now?”
Quinn Wilson is the News Editor and a contributor to Fontbonne University’s Griffin Roar.