Photo: Emily McAteer Photo Credits: Samantha Yothers via wcupagoldenrams.com
West Chester University men’s and women’s basketball players achieved notable accomplishments over winter break. Senior forward Emily McAteer scored her 1,000th point against Mercyhurst University on Dec. 18. A few weeks later, junior guard Robert Smith joined the 1,000-point club during an away game at California University of Pennsylvania.
Thornton native McAteer joined the Golden Rams for the 2022-2023 season as a junior from Loyola University Maryland. She couldn’t be happier with her decision to finish her college career close to home. “The moment I first met the team, I could sense that it was different from most college programs,” stated McAteer. “I immediately felt like I belonged and that it was the right choice for me.” She scored 353 points at Loyola, so most of her points were scored as a Ram. Before Loyola, McAteer was a star at Garnet Valley High School. She graduated as the all-time leading scorer with 1,773 career points. In her two seasons at WCU, she has averaged 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.
In the Dec. 18 game against Mercyhurst, McAteer finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, despite this, the Rams could not secure a victory. Since the game was seven hours away, McAteer didn’t think she would be able to celebrate her accomplishment with her family, but her dad made the drive. Her mom, dad, and sister have been her lifelong support system and she appreciates how encouraging they have been through it all. McAteer is also thankful to have a great coaching staff at WCU. WCU women’s basketball is 12-4 in PSAC play and 17-5 overall, so a playoff run looks promising. “Our first goal is to finish out the regular season and win the PSAC championship,” McAteer told The Quad. She tries not to look too far ahead and wants to focus on the PSAC before making a run in the NCAA tournament.
On Jan. 3, Smith helped the men’s basketball team beat California University of Pennsylvania by three points with a final score of 100-97. He scored 22 points, with his 1,000th point occurring in the final minutes to take the lead. Smith is in his third season with the Golden Rams and has been a star since he arrived at WCU. With a career average of 15.8 points, the Rams can count on him to be a factor in every game.
Before he became a Ram, Smith had an outstanding basketball career at Bishop McDevitt High School, where he became the 2nd all-time scorer with 1,203 points. “My 1,000th point in college was different than high school,” said Smith. “My high school points were kind of expected because of the type of player I am.” However, it didn’t take long for Smith to realize he could reach 1,000 points at WCU as well. “I averaged 14 points as a freshman coming off the bench,” noted Smith. “Nobody thought I would’ve had a season like that, but I did because of the work I put in.” He credits his friends and family for supporting him through every step of his basketball career. The men’s basketball team has had a successful season so far, being 11-5 in conference play. Smith’s expectations for the remainder of the season are simple — he wants to win.
Rebecca Arnold is a fourth-year English major with a minor in Journalism. RA953057@wcupa.edu