Emily Gillis wants to be like her sister, Madison. Actually, she wants to be better than Madison. Much better.
The family rivalry within Division Avenue High School is intense, and these sisters drive each other to be more competitive on the basketball court. Last year, Madison not only scored 1,000 points, becoming only the second girl in school history to do so for the varsity team, but she shattered the school record, reaching 1,151 points.
Now, it’s Emily’s turn to join in on the fun.
“She motivates me to do better because I want to be better than her,” Emily, a shooting guard, said. “I want to have bragging rights at home. She’s such an accomplished player, so I strive to be like her and better.”
The younger Gillis sister might do exactly that. Now she’s less than 50 points away from reaching 1,000 points. Within the first three games of 2019, she scored 61 points. If she continues this pace, she might be in reach of Madison’s school record.
“I’ve been working towards this goal since the eighth grade,” Emily said. “It’s me beating her now. She set the record so high that it’ll feel even better to know that our hard work paid off. Our time in the gym paid off.”
And being a leader is something the younger Gillis excels in, too.
“Besides being a great player, Emily has been an outstanding leader to our younger players,” head coach Steve Robins said.
She said it’s a good role to have, and it’s one she doesn’t take lightly. Since she started playing basketball in the first grade, she knew this is for her.
“Both of my parents played in college,” she said. “They didn’t force me to play. I wanted to play.”
Gillis was on the All-Conference team in her freshman year. Within a year, she became an All-County honorable mention player before being named to the All-County team as a junior.
“It feels good to know my hard work is getting noticed,” she said.
Gillis also plays varsity soccer and lacrosse for the Blue Dragons, making her presence known in all three sports, excelling in each.
Now, she is preparing for the next step, which is to play NCAA basketball at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. Even though it’s quite the trip down south, she’s optimistic about the future.
But first, Gillis is determined to best her sister’s record.