By Morgan Widdifield
LoCoSports Copy Editor
Purcellville (November 15, 2015) — Loudoun Valley High School senior Emily Thompson has committed to play basketball at the University of Mary Washington starting in 2016-2017 season.
“Mary Washington has a very successful women’s basketball program. The coaches are outstanding and the girls are hard-working and talented,” the 5-foot-7 Thompson said. “I chose Mary Washington because of the distance away from home and the academics there. They have my intended major, Education, and have a great five-year master’s program.”
Thompson — a three-year varsity starter — had a strong junior season, including setting the school record at Loudoun Valley for most three pointers hit in a game (7), when disaster struck. Halfway through the 2014-2015 season, Thompson tore her ACL, which kept her out of the rest of the season for the Lady Vikes. The injury, though, didn’t hinder her college recruiting process.
“It was very hard sitting on the sidelines all the time since I have never had a major injury before, but it forced me to be a great teammate on the sidelines by cheering everyone on, getting everyone pumped up, and helping coach a little bit,” said Thompson who will play shooting guard for the Eagles. “I was always the first person to give them a high five and cheer for them when they made a good play.”
The aftermath of knee surgery includes a long period of rehabilitation, which Thompson said was new for her.
“I had physical therapy three days a week [and I]worked with a Gap Therapy Specialist once every two weeks,” Thompson said. “When I finally got cleared to shoot, I would get up at 7 a.m. to go shoot with my coaches. After tons of physical therapy and working with a trainer, I could not wait to get back to playing the sport I love.”
Thompson is ready to start her senior season with the Lady Vikes basketball team, who ended last season 19-8. The Lady Vikes were Conference 28 champions, but fell to Petersburg High School in a VHSL 3A East region semifinal, 56-51. Thompson hopes to continue the winning legacy through her senior year.
“Loudoun Valley should be very competitive this year,” said Thompson who plays travel for Loudoun Xtreme. “I expect it to be a very successful season for Loudoun Valley.”
The northern Virginia-native plans to add her shooting skills and love for the game to the successful women’s basketball program at Mary Washington, who ended their 2014-2015 season 20-7. The Division III Eagles lost in the Capital Athletic Conference finals to Salisbury, 74-68, but failed to grab an at-large bid to the NCAA DIII Tournament.
“It is so exciting to be committed to play basketball because it is a dream and goal of mine since middle school,” Thompson said. “[It’s great] to know all my hard work and hours of getting myself better have paid off.”