Down 12 points at halftime, in one of her first varsity MCAL games, freshman Emma Bowser points to a motivational speech that ignited her inner scorer. “We were in the locker room and we knew we needed to gain momentum,” she said. “We came back in the second half and I missed a layup, then my sister [Ruby Bowser] got the rebound, I ran to the three-point line, she tossed it to me, and I made the shot.”
The younger Bowser is the latest highlight of a long list of girls who have run the point for the Hawks varsity squad over the years. She started the season coming off the bench, but was quickly ushered into the starting role halfway through the pre-league schedule.
“It would have been hard to keep her on the bench because of the fact that she does so much, she won the position,” assistant coach Ralph Wilson said. “She sees the court, she’s a great passer, and she’s really a selfless ball player.”
She considers her time on the bench as key to visualizing how she wants to impact the game. “When I was starting on the bench I could watch how the game was played but now that I’m a starter, I’m focused on starting strong in the first quarter, the first minute even,” Bowser said.
Bowser has been playing basketball since the second grade, practicing in her backyard and competing in Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). She always knew she was going to pursue basketball in high school, but excelled in other sports while growing up. In addition to basketball, Bowser played baseball and finished up her final soccer season this past November. She credits her family in part with instilling in her a passion for sports.
“My parents wanted us to have something we really cared about and could work at, but also wanted us to know what it was like to be on a team,” she said. “[My dad] tries to get our attention on the court and we try not to listen to him but he calls us over and tries to coach us.”
This season is the first time the Bowser sisters have officially played together since their summer run with AAU. “[Playing with my sister] is fun because we’re really close off the court so we really get each other, we know what we’re gonna do together on the court, we understand each other’s playing styles,” she said. “We have expectations for each other but we don’t get down on each other.”
Bowser’s teammates and coaches describe her as a good passer and playmaker. “She’s learning a lot and is improving in every game, and is just naturally very talented,” senior and co-captain Kate Finn said. “She sees the court really well, looks for the open man up the court, and she can drive and take over whenever she wants to.”
Bowser acknowledges that passing is one of her best attributes but also an area of continuous growth. “I think you can affect the game without stats, but the one stat I care about a lot is assists,” she said. “I want to pass and I want my teammates to score.”
Bowser looks forward to the rest of the season and has her sights set on future championships. “There’s nothing on the court that she can’t do and I know she’s only a freshman but she plays like a senior at times,” Wilson said. “I think she’s up to the challenge in terms of getting us to playoffs, doing her best to lead us, and doing whatever she needs to do to make the team better.”