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Sports

Suburban Life Most Valuable Athlete: Mira Emma, Wheaton Warrenville South, senior, basketball

WHY SHE WAS SELECTED:

Mira Emma scored 19 points in a win over St. Charles North, and scored 11 points in the Tigers' win over Wheaton North to clinch the DuKane Conference title.

Emma, who will play soccer collegiately at Iowa State, talked to Suburban Life sports editor Joshua Welge about the season and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:

Welge: That was quite a way to finish the regular season, right?

Emma: It was crazy for sure to finish it off that way. It's always nice to beat Wheaton North. They're a tough team. Every time it comes around it's always an emotional game. We were patient, we kept our composure and we pulled it out.

Welge: What's the secret to your team's great defense?

Emma: We take pride in our defense. We try to trap and frustrate people and cause turnovers. Coach always says to the deflect the ball, and one of your teammates will get it. Staying active, high intensity. We scrimmage more toward the beginning of the season. Toward the end of the season he likes to keep our legs fresh. We work on situational things based on where the ball is on the floor.

Welge: What's more pressure – taking a penalty kick in soccer, or shooting a free throw with the game on the line?

Emma: Fummy, I am the PK kicker in soccer. It's all about composure and being locked into the situation. You put yourself in those situations in practice. When I shoot free throws in practice, if I miss I do a punishment, two push-ups. It's to stay focused and locked in. When it's your time you have to come through big.

Welge: What are you going to study at Iowa State?

Emma: I plan to study horticulture, turf and grass management. Being a grasskeeper for an MLB team, that would be my dream. I played baseball for eight years, I was a second baseman and catcher, and every time the field wasn't perfectly raked or the chalk wasn't perfect my OCD kicked in. It always had to be perfect. My brother and I have a lawnmowing business. Landscaping is a passion for me.

Welge: So what's a busy day in the lawnmowing business?

Emma: We both play soccer, basketball and baseball. We go in a pattern. Two days in a week, four lawns for one day, it's a good summer gig.

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