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SAAC Spotlight: Western Washington's Emma Duff
Emma Duff earned Honorable Mention All-GNAC honors as a junior in 2019-20, finishing with 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 31 starts.
Emma Duff earned Honorable Mention All-GNAC honors as a junior in 2019-20, finishing with 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 31 starts.
Emma Duff
Emma Duff

Friday, January 29, 2021

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, GNACsports.com uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

Name: Emma Duff
Sport:
Women’s Basketball
Institution:
Western Washington University
Year:
Senior
Major:
Environmental Science
Hometown:
Tumwater, Washington

Why Did You Choose To Attend Western Washington?: Bellingham is a beautiful place to live in and the family atmosphere of the team was exactly what I was looking for.

What Is Your Favorite Class You Have Taken And Why?: I took a writing class to fill a general requirement and was not looking forward to it at all. I ended up learning so much. It changed the way I think about the things around me as well as how other people’s opinions are shaped by their personal experiences.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor And What Did You Enjoy About Learning From Him Or Her?: My favorite professor is Jeremy Cushman, who taught my favorite class. He listened to us students and created an inclusive classroom environment where everyone was comfortable with talking about some heavy subjects. It was easy to pay attention in this class because he made it interesting.

Years Involved In SAAC: Four years.

The Reason You Chose To Get Involved In SAAC: I was asked by my coach to join SAAC during my freshman year. I was nervous at first because I was nervous about pretty much everything as a freshman. Once I went to a few meetings, I realized what a cool opportunity it was to be a voice for my team and school through this committee.

Most Memorable SAAC Activity To Date: We organized a holiday drive to donate goods to a local shelter for survivors of domestic violence. It was empowering to see how many student-athletes came together to help support a cause like that.

How Do You Feel Participating In SAAC Will Help You In Life After You Graduate?: I gained a lot of leadership skills and learned a lot about how far my voice can go. It is important to be involved and speak up for change. I think that is something I will be able to translate into my everyday life after graduation.

What Does It Mean To You To Be A Division II Student-Athlete?: It means a lot to me to be a part of Division II athletics. Division II can sometimes be overshadowed by larger Division I schools, but it is so impressive to see how hard these athletes work.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned About Balancing Athletics And Academics?: It’s important to realize how privileged we are to have an opportunity that a lot of people only wish they could have. On long days, it’s easy to get caught up in how tired you are but it’s always good to remember to be grateful.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome During Your Collegiate Career: My freshman year as a whole was very challenging. Adapting to college athletics was rough and I struggled a lot with my mental health. I am proud that I was able to push myself through that. I know that first year taught me a lot about mental toughness and being able to acknowledge when I am struggling.

Favorite Thing About Competing In The GNAC: The GNAC is a very successful conference and the institutions always support one another.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Traveling to Hawaii last year for the West Region of the NCAA Championship just to find out that it was canceled due to COVID-19 wasn’t the happiest sports-related moment but it definitely takes the cake for most memorable.

If You Could Change One NCAA Rule, It Would Be: I miss shooting 1-and-1 free throws during games. They really impacted situations at the end of games. Having the bonus set at five fouls and immediately giving a team two free throws is unnecessary.

Current Mentor(s): Lexie Bland. She is someone I have looked up to since I first stepped on campus. Her work ethic is unlike anyone I have ever met and she implements it into every aspect of her life. I will miss playing with her but I am thankful for all she has taught me on how to be a leader.

Best Advice You’d Give To An Incoming Freshman: Always remember that you play a sport because it’s fun. Don’t take everything too seriously.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why)?: I would want to spend a day with my great-grandma, who passed away when I was in high school. She was a strong and independent woman. I know she would be so excited to see what I am doing now and to hear about my college experience and plans for after graduation.

Extracurricular Activities: I enjoy the outdoors and trying new things.

Future Goals After Graduation: I am undecided on what direction I want to go in, but I would love to travel and experience new things. I have a lot to discover outside of Washington.

Favorite Sports Team: Seattle Storm.

Favorite Athlete: Ray Allen. I could watch his shooting form for hours.

One Thing People Don’t Know About You Is: I never know what to say when I get asked this, but I have a cat named Oscar and he is the best.

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