The Reflection

Gull Lake High School's Online News Source

Girls’ basketball star, Emma Way, makes miraculous comeback in senior season

Emma Way has lived in Richland since birth, and bled blue and white her entire life. She has been an active member in the Gull Lake Athletic program, despite her injury setback. Emma tore her ACL during summer workouts the summer before her junior year started in 2015. Way is now a senior, one trimester away from graduation, and she has had made a name for herself at Gull Lake. Emma has been playing basketball for 12 years, and she just recently wrapped up her final season at Gull Lake High School.

Emma Way looks to pass to teammate Ashtyn Vanlerberghe. Photo by Jenna Davison

“It was difficult, yet rewarding. Coming back this year, I just tried to have fun with it,” said Way about her senior year.

Emma tore her ACL during summer workouts the summer before her junior year started in 2015.

“I was going for a rebound, and I collided knee caps with another player,” Way said.

Emma was unable to use her knee for six straight months, but it took her even longer to return back to her normal self. When her senior season started to come around, she was nervous to step back onto the court with the restructured knee.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect after being out for so long, but I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing and supportive people who made this season a fun experience,” Way said.

Way speaks of her teammates highly, and said she is incredibly grateful for their love and support.

After missing her junior season entirely, Way was eager to get back on the court and get in touch with her old self again.

Emma Way after her ACL reconstruction surgery. Photo courtesy of Judy Way

“I thought about the six year old me walking into the gym on her first day of GLYBA practice. I knew that no matter how weird it felt, I had to finish off my career as enthusiastically as I started it,” Way said.

The Gull Lake varsity girls’ basketball team went 5-4 in their conference this season and 12-8 overall. Way’s basketball career is something that she said she is extremely proud of and will remember forever.

In addition to being on the varsity basketball team, Way has been involved during her senior year.

“Besides getting into various colleges, always having something to celebrate has been exciting. Even if it’s just ‘One more day until graduation,’ or senior nights for sports, I feel like there’s always a reason to get excited,” Way said.

She will be attending Michigan State University in the fall with an intent to major in comparative cultures and politics.

Way said she won’t miss much about high school except the short walk to her car from class. 

“MSU’s campus is pretty big,” said Way.

Emma has lots of love for the Gull Lake community since she’s lived here her whole life, and no matter where she goes, she said that Gull Lake will hold a spot in her heart forever and is excited to see her junior and underclassmen friends go through her same experiences.

“Just enjoy the time you have next year as it passes,” she said as advice. “It’s easy to get caught up thinking about the future, but enjoy the small things with people that you might not stay connected to.” 

Emma Way’s senior picture. Photo courtesy of Epic Edge photography

In addition to basketball, Emma has run cross country and been a thrower in track since her freshman year. Emma is an active member in National Honors Society at Gull Lake High School, and in her spare time she likes to play the ukulele and watch documentaries. Her favorite subjects in school are Social Studies. 

Author Profile

Ella Cunningham
Ella Cunningham
This is my first year with the GLHS Reflection. I enjoy writing about sports, mainly volleyball. This year I hope to win an award for the Reflection

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