Lions’ shortest player aims high in new position

Next time you come out for an Emerson women’s basketball game, look for jersey number four. Pink laces accenting purple Nikes and hair straightened to perfection make Emerson’s new point guard stand out.

The sophomore from Toronto, Ontario plays basketball. In a land usually dominated by ice hockey, Amy Sherman is an exception.

“We’re a basketball family,” said Sherman, a sophomore communication studies major. “Most Canadian families are hockey families, but that’s not us.”

Another thing that sets Sherman apart is her height. She stands at a mere 5-foot-1.

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“Being short is completely out of my control, so I just have to deal with it and adjust,” Sherman said. “I feel that it gives me another challenge, and I have to do other things to compensate for that. I just try to be pretty scrappy and into my head thinking-wise rather than the physicality of it.”

Sherman has started all 18 games this season for the Lions and is one of the leaders on her team in steals and scoring.

“She’s the shortest player on our team, but in the game against Salve Regina, by halftime she was leading the team in rebounds,” Madeline Smeaton, a freshman teammate said.

Sherman was introduced to athletics at an early age by her father, Doug Sherman.

“He really introduced me to sports and how they can really positively influence your life and create and install morals and values in you,” Sherman said. “Not only do you become in good shape but what you learn on the court or on the field and take it into your everyday life, that’s what I really want to thank him for.”

Sherman said before her father introduced sports into her life, she had different dreams.

“I wanted to be a ballerina,” Sherman said. “I would go to ballet class, but I really wasn’t graceful enough to be a ballerina. So then I tried tap dancing because that was a little less graceful and more bouncy, but I wasn’t great at that either. So I gave basketball a shot, and I felt that was more me.”

If Sherman was still attempting to grace the stage in pink satin shoes, then the basketball team would be without what head coach Bill Gould describes as a key player on the team. This season, Gould said, she’s been able to switch positions successfully, helping the Lions reshuffle their lineup.

The Lions’ point guard from last season, Jackie Williams,  now attends Johns Hopkins University, and Sherman has filled her role.

“Our old point guard transferred, and Amy is familiar with our system,” Gould said. “She really understands what we are trying to do, and she does a real nice job with that. She’s more of a shooter and can distribute the ball well.”

Sherman is not completely unfamiliar with the point position. She ran the offense at Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto.

“I played point in high school,” Sherman said. “The adjustment to college level is different, but I enjoy it and I love passing the ball to my teammates and seeing them be successful.”

It was Sherman’s hard work ethic in high school that earned her MVP four years in a row and captain for two years. According to Gould, she continues to stand out.

“It’s kind of a cliché, but very true in this case: she’s a great kid,” Gould said. “A hard worker, and it seeps through to the rest of the team.”

Her teammates agree. “I look up to her,” Smeaton said. “She’s very serious about her game and dedicated to improving our team. If I don’t know, I look to Amy. If the captain’s not here, I look to Amy.”

Sherman is still positive about grabbing a Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship this year despite the Lions’ young team. The team is currently 7-12 (5-1, GNAC).

While Sherman said she still has a strong work ethic, she credits her father for where she is today.

“I think parents are really big influences on your lives,” Sherman said. “That fact that my dad didn’t really push me towards sports but instead he opened my eyes to what they are. I don’t think I would have had the same relationship with sports if he didn’t show me.”