Emily Glendinning is an OCAA Women’s Basketball star. She was just named an OCAA East Division First-Team All-Star. Also, she won team Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours for the Durham Lords. In addition to her basketball prowess, Glendinning is a Sport Management major. Similar to my interview with OCAA volleyball star Tyler Krabi, I sat down with Glendinning.
Q: How does it feel to win team MVP honours? Also to win All-Star recognition from the OCAA Basketball for your great year on the court?
A: Really good, I honestly didn’t expect it. I just played and it paid off. First off, I was really surprised to receive OCAA basketball recognition. There are a lot of good basketball players in the OCAA so to have my name stand out on that list is a great honour. Now about the team MVP honours. I was really surprised.
But now that I look back on it, my teammates kinda gave it away. I had my jacket on the night of the awards and they were telling me, to take it off even though I was cold. They probably wanted me to get ready to go up there because all the nerves and the lights would have made me feel hot.
But overall, I am grateful to have won the award and receive the OCAA basketball honour.
Q: Was there anyone who reached out to congratulate you? I am sure your family and friends, but what about the media?
A: My friends and family reached out to me. Whether it was through social media, text message or phone call, almost all my friends reached out. Likewise, my family was so excited and did their share of congrats.
As for media requests, you are my first sit down interview. Thanks for doing this. I think it’s really neat to get the word out there on what we do in OCAA basketball and in general out there.
Q: What did you think of fan support this year? Were there more people than usual during such a great run for the team?
A: I felt like there were more people second semester near the end of the season. I felt like the crowd was more into our games, more involved and upbeat than last year.
There were more than last season but there is still a big difference between the male and female games. Not only is there that difference, but also varsity athletics in Canada versus the USA. There’s huge differences. Compared to the USA, we get little attention from fans.
Q: Were there any promotion nights that helped to bring more people in than usual?
A: I always keep a corner of my eye on what’s going on from a game day perspective because I am a Sport Management student after all. But it has been a while since the game but I think we had a game centred around the Bell Let’s Talk about mental health day and that seemed to bring more people out in support.
Most of the time I don’t remember any special nights unless they are on the court as I just show up to play hard and win haha!
Q: Can you suggest improvements to promote your games?
A: There can be more done but it is also hard because there is no way that even standing out in the Pit would be feasible because the people in charge of marketing those games also have a lot more to do than just market the games, so this would be a waste of time in the end.
The women’s games are also just at a weird time, because at 6 o’clock some students may still be in class. It is a hard time to come out to and therefore hard to promote overall.
Perhaps changing the start time of our games would help a little. I think that would help us but it would also definitely hurt the guys as fewer people would want to come to a 9 PM game. It is a tough balance to get right. In softball and baseball, we do the doubleheaders for the same team so we get a 6 PM and an 8 PM game and there are always more people out for the 8 compared to the 6, so it really is just a balancing act.
Q: What would you say is your greatest skill in basketball and in comparison, what is your greatest skill in sport management?
A: On the court, I would probably say I am the person that calms everyone down, whether we are down by one or up by 3 I like to make sure we play with composure and don’t freak out. Also shooting as I really like to shoot haha. Then in sport management, I like the financial side of the course and I also like the event planning aspect.
Q: That’s great, in terms of the event planning I saw that you put together a Sport Management alumni event. How did it go?
A: Simply put, our numbers were lower than expected. It was a good idea but it didn’t go as planned, a lot of people just did not show up.
People were either messaging us and saying that they were caught up and couldn’t make it.
But something I did notice is that we started a little late to advertise it. It could have been planned differently from the very beginning, but we didn’t really know as it was an inaugural event.
Even people we really expected to show up had other ideas on the day of, but it is a learning experience and if we do the event next year we have tips on things to avoid for whoever may take over next year.
Q: Is there a basketball skill that you have that will translate well into a career in sport?
A: Definitely the calmness and leadership that I touched on earlier and the ability to work with others, all of that combined would be great attributes for a career in sport.
Q: Some athletes who love sport as much as you do stick around for 5 years at the school to use all of the years of their eligibility, is this something that you have thought about?
A: I have thought about it, but I really want to start working. I prefer to start my life outside of school quicker and even though I love my sports I don’t think I would stay in school longer than necessary just to play collegiate level sports.
Q: Both of your college teams had great success this year with a 4th consecutive gold medal in softball and a 4th place finish in OCAA women’s basketball! So softball or basketball?
A: [Laughs] It is kind of funny because I love both sports but I am on the fence for returning to the women’s softball team next year. I mean I love the girls on the team, but I don’t know it just may be time to hang the cleats up. I feel like I am scared to stop playing because I love the game but I am definitely playing OCAA basketball come next year. It would be a good time to win a 5-place OCAA title with the team as well because all the girls outside of 2 will be returning next year, but again we will see how it all plays out.
Q: How do you balance your dual sport life + school + social life? Are there any tips you would give to someone who wants to give it a try?
A: At the end of the day I have no idea how I balance it as my life is pretty crazy but it really helps that I am close with my teammates as they are essentially my social life. School may get hard at times but as an athlete, you learn that you just have to do it no matter what, you just really don’t have a choice with that!
I would just say if you want to do it you have to be dedicated and you have to work hard at it, don’t let you or anyone else say that you are not good enough.
In a nutshell, it is important to be confident when you are playing as well as humble, so I guess that is my message to people who want to give it a try. Be dedicated, be confident, be humble and work hard as you can!