Western Washington University senior basketball player Emma Duff finished her collegiate career by etching her name in the record books during a national championship game run.
Duff played 126 games in her career, which ties her for first all-time in games played in the history of Western Washington University women’s basketball.
She finds herself in the top 20 in program history for almost every statistic. It would be quicker to write down what statistics she is not top 20 in.
Duff came to Western from Black Hills High School in Tumwater, Washington as a good shooter and scorer, but quickly transitioned into a great defender.
“I coasted through high school by being a good shooter and being able to score,” Duff said. “And then when I got to Western, which was such a defensive focus program, I immediately learned that’s going to be a huge part of my career.”
Duff finished 13th all-time in block shots with 91 and sixth all-time in defensive rebounds with 536.
Her offensive impact was just as prominent. She finished 10th all-time in points with 1346, seventh in three pointers made with 147. She finished as an all-time free throw shooter. Shooting 77.6% in her career which is 15th all-time.
Western assistant coach, Stacy Turrell, highlighted how great of a leader Duff was.
“Emma’s such a positive kid,” Turrell said. “And I think that’s what the team loved about her. Everyone responded to Emma, and she’s not the kind of leader that’s just gonna yell at her team to get things done. She brings them with you.”
Turrell, who has been a Western assistant coach for nine years, was the first person in contact with Emma when she was getting recruited.
“Emma just was a good person and she cares about her teammates so much,” Turrell said. “She’s such an easy person to be around, I can’t believe she’s gonna be gone.”
Fellow senior teammate Dani Iwami appreciated Duff on and off the court.
“She’s like one of my best friends, period,” she said.
Iwami has been a teammate of Duff for five years.
“When I was practicing, I think that both me and her had a certain competitiveness to each other, that she could push me and I could push her,” Iwami said. “And I don’t think there were many other people who could do that for me.”
The competitiveness was just one of the reasons Duff became one of the best players to ever play in the decorated Western women’s program.
She improved every year. Her freshman year she averaged 6.7 points per game, 9.5 her sophomore year, 11. her junior year and 15.6 her senior year.
Her 15.6 average is now 15th all-time in a season at Western.
Turrell saw Duff's desire to improve every year.
“I think Emma's such a hard worker,” she said. “She just wanted to be the best.”
Turrell, Iwami and Duff all agree she really worked on getting stronger to help the team.
“My freshman year I was out of high school and was pretty scrawny,” Duff said. “And then as I got older, and with more lifting, which our strength coach Damian [Add his last name in brackets] does an amazing job just getting people stronger and getting people ready, I was able to put on some muscle.”
Duff’s All-Time Western Statistics
Tied 1st in games played
6th in defensive rebounds
7th in three pointers made
10th in points
11th in rebounds
13th in field goals made
Tied 13th in block shots
15th in free throw percentage
20th in three point percentage
Duff finished her senior season as First Team All-GNAC, All-est Region Team in the regional tournament and honorable mention for the NCAA Division II All-American honors.
Duff, who graduates this year, has options to go play professionally overseas. She said that basketball is always going to be in her life.
Drew McFall (He/him) is a sports and recreation writer for the Western Front this quarter. He is a news editorial major with a minor in communications. He wants to be a sports journalist or broadcaster. As a reporter, he wants to focus on WWU sports teams and players. In his free time, he loves watching sports, playing sports, and running on trails.