South Kam Titan Wolfram’s basketball future is a bright one
Emma Wolfram has always been taller than her friends and, when on the basketball court, she is usually a cut above the rest.
The 6-foot-5 South Kamloops secondary centre made a statement — well, two of them — in the B.C. AAA senior girls’ basketball championship final in North Vancouver earlier this month.
“We were up by one, 62-61, and all I knew is our defence had to win it for us,” said Wolfram, whose Titans were in a knock-down drag-out battle for provincial gold with the York House Tigers of Vancouver.
“When they come into the key, that’s when I like it.”
And come into the key they did.
Two of the Tigers’ best players — Alisha Roberts and Cherub Lum, both of whom Wolfram has played with on Team B.C. at summer tournaments — tried to shoot over the towering centre.
The first shot was rejected.
The second attempt denied.
Nine seconds later, the Titans — Wolfram is the first to acknowledge every member of her team contributed — had won their first AAA senior girls’ basketball title since 1964.
Those blocks were not just heard by those in attendance at Capilano University.
They echoed across the North American basketball world.
Wolfram played for Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico in October.
She led Team B.C. to a silver-medal finish at the Canadian under-17 championships in Winnipeg in August of 2011, and was part of the Canadian women’s cadet team that placed third at a world qualifier in Mexico last June.
The list of NCAA Division I schools interested in Wolfram’s services is ever-growing — Gonzaga of Spokane, Stanford of California, Colorado, Oregon State and Washington State, to name a few.
The obvious question — where does the shooting basketball star want to go?
“I know I want to stay on the west coast, so all my family can come and see me,” said Wolfram, who plans to study physiotherapy.
Wolfram is young, talented and her future shines brighter than the gold medal she picked up at provincials — but it all could have been so much different.
“It was Christmas day,” Wolfram recalled.
“I went driving with my dad to bring my gifts to my noni, or my grandma, and we hit black ice on the way down and our car hit a pole.”
Wolfram, who has a learner’s licence, was heading down the Old Merritt Highway by the Esso when she lost control.
“Our car [a Yukon] is totalled now, but I just came out with a concussion.”
Her dad, the only other passenger, was unharmed.
“We were pretty lucky,” she said.
The effects of the concussion had subsided by the time she took the court for provincials, and the accident was the furthest thing from her mind.
Wolfram’s mother, Jane, was on the last senior girls’ Titans squad to reach a provincial final — in 1978.
She was part of South Kam’s coaching staff this season, and was one of the first to greet her daughter after the final whistle blew to signal victory.
“We were just hugging,” said Wolfram, a born-and-bred Kamloopsian who attended Summit elementary.
“It was just excitement.”
After the post-victory madness — “We were all screaming,” Wolfram said. — died down, the Grade 11 phenom was named tournament MVP.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team,” she said.
“My team helped me get it.”
Wolfram and the Titans will have a tall task ahead of them — repeat in 2013.
It’s a good thing they’re not short on height.