By Andrew Smith
Graduate student Emily Miccile is currently playing in her final season on the Adelphi women’s basketball team, a career she began in kindergarten. As she gets ready to graduate this spring, she reflected on her time as a Panther.
Miccile said she first played on a YMCA basketball team coached by her mom. She then began playing Amatuer Athletic Union (AAU) in the fourth grade and has continued to play since. She credits her involvement in sports to her parents.
Emily Miccile reflects on senior year.
“My mom played all types of sports when she was growing up, including basketball. My dad played ice hockey mostly because that’s what all his brothers played,” she said. “My parents signed me up for all different sports like soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, etc. My mom really wanted me to play ice hockey, but it was the same season as basketball, and I told her I wanted to play basketball more than hockey.”
Miccile first came to Adelphi to attend an elite camp before her senior year of high school. This camp lasted for two days and was during the height of her recruiting process. It served as a great introduction to the Adelphi community as Miccile fell in love with the campus.
“I remember coming to camp and on the Sunday when I had to go home, I didn’t want to leave,” she said. “I just had this feeling that I kept wanting to go back. I wanted to be there. That’s when I knew this was where I was meant to be. I loved the size of the campus; small enough that it’s easy to get around, but still a decent sized enrollment of students. I also thought the facilities were amazing, especially the basketball courts.”
There are several moments in Miccile’s Adelphi career that she said will always be with her. She’ll never forget her first collegiate game when she hit a game-winning buzzer beater against New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). She hit another buzzer beater against American International College (AIC) during her freshman year.
And just this past season Miccile was able to participate in another memorable experience. “Against Franklin Pierce I scored my 1,000th career point in front of my friends, family and coaches. It was extremely rewarding for me because I did not score 1,000 points in high school,” she said. “I was on a very talented high school team where I was not asked to be an elite scorer. I was much more of a role player. Getting to college, my role completely changed and I was asked to continue doing those little things, but also score.”
While Miccile has been able to enjoy many positive and memorable moments at her time at Adelphi, she will never forget the disappointment the Covid-19 pandemic brought her during her junior year. The women’s basketball team was having an outstanding year, a 27-3 record.
“We had secured the top seed and were set to host the NCAAs, and then the world got shut down due to Covid,” she said. “I remember walking off the court after our last practice, going into the training room to get some ice, and getting a text that we had a meeting in the locker room in 15 minutes. At that moment my heart sank. I knew it was over. We all did. The NCAA had already released a statement canceling all tournaments. That moment in the locker room, crying with all my teammates after one of the best seasons in Adelphi history, that’s one I will never forget.”
Miccile also commented on the experiences she had with the athletic staff at Adelphi, emphasizing the importance of strength and conditioning coach Keith Ferrara. “[He] has had my back and my best interest at heart from the beginning of my journey here at Adelphi. He has always been someone who will be honest with me, and always push me to get better every day.”
Head coach Sade Jackson ‘14 has also played an important role in Miccile’s final year at Adelphi. “Coach Sade has been an absolute blessing to this program. When she first came to campus last spring, I just knew that she was going to be successful,” she said. “It was nerve wracking when the coach that recruited me here decided to leave, but I can proudly say that there is nobody else I would rather play for in my last year. She has done nothing but support me and push me each day to play to my full potential in my last season. I will forever be grateful for the year I got to spend with her, and I wish I could stay and play forever.”
Coach Jackson, who played for Adelphi from 2010-’14, shared valuable advice with Miccile about the importance of the team. “She told me that Adelphi changed her and that she experienced true growth when she was here,” Miccile said. “She said she had met her best friends here, and that is what she wanted for all of her players as well. She wanted us to form these relationships and bonds that would last forever. I have met my best friends here, and I have grown tremendously here through long and hard days, weeks and seasons, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Miccile is planning to graduate with a master’s degree in physical education and hopes to become a teacher and basketball coach.