Emily Fisher’s confidence and leadership ignite the Eagles

The senior guard gives the Eagles high hopes for the season

Emily Fisher’s confidence and leadership ignite the Eagles

In 2018, the American University Eagles recruited a young star named Emily Fisher, who was not only a dynamic offensive player but a leader with her unforgettable confidence and desire to be great. For years after hiring head coach Megan Gebbia, the Eagles had been looking for a leader to bring that passion to the program. 

They finally found it in Fisher.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Fisher shined in 2020-21. She averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 0.8 steals in 33.3 minutes per game. She became just the 10th player in program history to average at least 11 points since the 2013-2014 season. Fisher ranked 16th in scoring and 7th in assists among conference leaders last season, becoming the latest player in program history to be a top-20 scorer and passer. 

Fisher’s impressive play was recognized, and she was named the GEICO Student-Athlete of the Week in early March and became the 48th Eagle to be selected for the award in program history. 

“She’s physically gifted, she can defend, she can move laterally, and she can do a little bit of everything offensively,” Gebbia said. “She also is a tremendous teammate, and she really pushes people in practice, and she is probably one of the best communicators on the floor.”

Fisher said her greatest strength as a floor general was getting the team to communicate with one another. 

“I always encourage our team to talk, it’s about communication and talking all the time,” Fisher said.

The coaching staff showed a glimpse that Fisher could be one of the new leaders it trusts by making her the starting point guard. As one the program’s captains and floor generals, Fisher perhaps can offer some guidance on the court with her mindset for success and her playmaking ability.

“She is the floor leader, and as she grows and gets better, we will grow as a team and get better,” Gebbia said. “She loves to be the person talking to the officials and communicating with the bench. She has a lot of the tools you look for in a point guard.”

Fisher first impressed on the basketball scene when playing in Australia for U-18 Victoria State team in 2016. She was a member of the Basketball Australia National Performance Program, and Fisher was a fan-favorite due to her up-tempo style of play and leadership qualities. However, Eagles fans didn’t have much of a chance to see Fisher in person last season due to the pandemic. 

Fisher said she is looking forward to experiencing what it’s like to play with fans expected to be back in the stands. 

“I’m super excited, I’m so pumped to be back in Bender Arena,” Fisher said. “And it’s already been super great with the away teams we’ve played already. It’s a good atmosphere to have again because last year was very different and quite silent.”

Fisher’s confidence and positivity is something she picked up from Gebbia, she said. Fisher said that Gebbia has been vital to her development as a player, and she’s always been inspired by her head coach. 

“She always talks me through things, she always comes to me if there’s any problems or issues. I have a lot of trust and comfort in knowing that I can talk to her whenever I need to,” Fisher said.

Gebbia said that Fisher’s game will take another step forward this season, not only from a playing perspective but from a leadership perspective as well.

“The voice starts and ends with her. And she wants that, she just wants to have that responsibility,” Gebbia said. “She wants a championship, that’s what she’s looking at. And if she wants it, everyone is gonna follow.”

While Fisher isn’t lacking in confidence, she defers to the team when asked about the key to AU being successful this season. 

“For us, it’s always being on the same page,” Fisher said. “It’s not always going to be an easy 40 minutes of the game. It’s facing different things that are going to come our way and making sure that we can help each other the whole time, which I think we can definitely do.”

AU missed the Patriot League Championship during Fisher’s junior season after falling to the Boston University Terriers in the semifinal game. The Eagles haven’t won a championship since 2018

Along with Fisher, AU has a promising roster, most notably with Preseason Player of the Year Jade Edwards, Taylor Brown, Maddie Doring, Karla Vreš and Lauren Stack.

With Fisher expected to help lead the way, the Eagles may have the talent to finally end their championship drought. 

“The continuous communication and having that consistent motivation to always keep playing hard, it’s going to get us some wins,” Fisher said.

sports@theeagleonline.com 

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