Emily gets scholarship to top USA university

Sunday, 19 November 2017

By Philip Irwin
in Local People

On November 8, Porthcawl girl Emily Stradling returned to her old school, Porthcawl Comprehensive, to sign up for a basketball scholarship at Mercer University in the United States.

Emily played five seasons at Porthcawl Comprehensive School under head coach, her father Andrew Stradling.

Her mother, Natasha, also teaches at the school. Emily gained 13 A*s at GCSE, but then joined St David’s College in Cardiff to be able to train with the Cardiff Archers team.

With Emily a driving force, Porthcawl claimed the 2012 under-14 Mixed Cardiff and Vale Playoff Championship, 2013 under-14 Girls’ Welsh Schools Championship, 2014 under-15 Mixed Cardiff and Vale Playoff Championship and the 2015 under-16 Girls South Wales Schools Championship.

She played for the under-16 and under-18 Welsh National Teams and then played for head coach Stef Collins of the Cardiff Met Archers AAU team.

While with the Archers, she led her team to the 2015 Women’s National Cup Championship and 2015 under-16 Southwest League Championship.

“We are thrilled to see Emily continue her education and basketball journey at Mercer, said coach Collins.

“She has worked very hard and shown great commitment to her studies and basketball over the past two years at St David’s College and the Archers Women’s Basketball program.

“She is a bright and talented young lady who will undoubtedly continue to develop under the guidance of coach Gardner and her staff in America.”

Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, is a long-established institution, with a strong tradition in men’s and women’s basketball.

Ieuan Jones (trainer) said: “Emily is a great person. She is so positive and uplifting to be around both on and off the court. Her energy is something that she will bring with her to Mercer along with her work ethic.

“Emily is the hardest working player I’ve ever had play for me and I can’t wait to see what she can achieve at Mercer both individually and collectively as part of the basketball family. Mercer is getting a first-class person and talent in Emily.”

In Emily’s words: “Being offered a scholarship is such an amazing feeling and one I feel very privileged to have. Basketball has long been a sport close to my heart but my parents have always emphasised the importance of gaining a great education as well.

“Playing basketball has definitely been of huge advantage to me at this time when people my age are looking to apply to university because it has added yet another string to my bow and made me stand out.

“A full scholarship anywhere would have been unbelievable but simultaneously being able to carry on growing as a player in the sport I love is simply something else.

“I am definitely looking forward to the prospect of being an international student and experiencing an education which is different to the one I have had thus far.

“But the thing I am looking forward to most, is being around all my coaching staff and teammates again and spending four years developing and competing with them week in, week out.”

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