TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Last year it was all about #BeMORE. This season, Florida State Women’s Basketball is ready to take the next step and EMERGE, using #emergeFSU to let the world know each and every day that it strives to be better as players and people.
Every season the slogan changes under 18th-year head coach Sue Semrau, but the underlying theme stays the same – Seminole Women’s Hoops is about the growth of its student-athletes, from on-the-court achievements to off-the-court successes that will help them live long and fulfilling lives.
And thus, the new concept of EMERGE remains the same as the ideals of #BeMORE and all the other mantras from before. The actual definition of the word is “to come forth into view or notice, as from concealment or obscurity.” Such is the same of those who step into the FSU Women’s Basketball program – they sometimes might go unnoticed when they become a part of the family, but they grow as a noticeable presence by everything they do to better the lives of others.
Throughout the rest of the 2014-15 year, the #emergeFSU hashtag will be used to repeatedly blast out the team concepts and ideals as Florida State looks for its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 11 seasons. The Renaissance era that FSU Women’s Basketball has experienced over the last decade is the product of a progressive improvement by Semrau’s student-athletes not only as players, but as overall human beings.
Senior guard Maegan Conwright, one of FSU’s two seniors, has yet to play a regular-season game for the Noles after transferring from Kentucky and having to sit out the 2013-14 year due to NCAA transfer rules. Known as a cerebral player with a high basketball IQ, it didn’t take the Arlington, Texas, native long to figure out how Semrau and the coaching staff want to mold their players into well-rounded women.
“Last year was Be More, and that meant be more than just a basketball player,” Conwright said. “Be part of community service, get good grades, and things like that. This year, Emerge is about more than that – when we graduate we want to be a substance woman and a woman of character.”
Despite being in Tallahassee for just over a year, the new team concept of EMERGE applied to Conwright. She learned a lot from her time spent sitting out and realized how much she emerged in a figurative sense.
“I can’t even explain how much I’ve grown just in my one year here,” Conwright added. “With community service and practice, Coach Sue not leaving me on the sidelines but putting me in the drills to help coach and help lead…This past year when I sat out, it was actually one of the best (experiences) because of internships and things like that.”
Redshirt junior Shakena Richardson is another talented guard who has yet to see regular-season action as a Seminole after sitting out last season following a transfer. But Kena’s hard-working ways and competitive nature are what EMERGE is all about – how you become a strong voice in practice and earn respect from your teammates.
“We’re focused on emerging not just as basketball players but as women, and growing from there and having the responsibilities that come with that,” Richardson said. “(It’s about) growing up and living outside this world not just in a basketball sense, but being able to prosper in other areas. When you’re emerging, it’s a team effort to do so – to come together.”
Speaking of high IQ’s, redshirt senior Lauren Coleman is a natural when it comes to spacing the floor, making good decisions with the ball, understanding offensive and defensive schemes and being someone for others to follow. Now in her fifth year at FSU, Coleman has truly emerged in all facets of her life thanks to having one of college basketball’s best mentors.
“Emerge means we have to come together and learn together in order to blossom and grow,” Coleman added. “It’s definitely been a big part of our preseason and working out this summer. Being away from family, Coach Sue has been like a mother figure and she’s the one you turn to and look for advice. She’s been amazing.”
New words, but virtually the same meaning. EMERGE is about our student-athletes growing, but it’s not limited to just those competing on the floor. The concept applies to everyone who is part of the Florida State Women’s Basketball program, from head coaches to members of the support staff. In the next year, look for the Seminole Hoopsters to once again show the Big Bend community, as well as the rest of their audience, the true meaning of EMERGE.
For more information on Florida State women’s basketball throughout the offseason, follow the Seminoles on Twitter at @FSU_WBasketball and like their official Facebook page (Facebook.com/FSUWomensBasketball).