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PORT WING – With two basketball standouts as parents, South Shore senior forward Emily Gustafson grew up surrounded by the game and its rich tradition in Port Wing.
"They loved it and I guess it rubbed off on to me. I've been playing since I was in 4th grade," says South Shore senior forward Emily Gustafson, "I really enjoy the game. I've grown to love it just like they have."
Emily's game is now filled with family.
Her father Clendon took over this year as the Cardinal girls head coach.
"About 11 girls for both the varsity and JV," says South Shore head girls basketball coach Clendon Gustafson, "But they work hard and have a great attitude. It's a lot of fun to coach my daughters too. That's a special time."
"Its fun having him as the coach cause I feel more confident in how I play," says Emily, "He gives me tips all the time. Even at home."
And like all sibling rivalries, Emily's not so little sister Megan, is with her on the court.
"We're really close. We've been playing basketball together forever," says Emily, "Its really nice to have her there with me. I had to play the first two years without her and my sister is a scoring machine. She can get it done."
Megan is leading Wisconsin in scoring per game. But, it's Emily's all around skills helping take the undefeated Cardinals to an old familiar place.
"Emily is leading the state in rebounds per game at 17 point 5 and also averages about 19 points a game," says Clendon, "she's really tough on defense, does really some solid work for us."
"I love rebounding that's my best thing I can do," says Emily, "I like defense a lot too. I probably like it better than offense."
And Emily's teammates find her passion for the game contagious.
"She's been such a good leader to me. She's been such a good example to play my hardest," says Emily's younger sister Megan Gustafson, "just watching her play has almost taught me how to play better."
Emily's play is also getting noticed by schools at the next level.
"I narrowed it down to UMD and Upper Iowa. I kinda knew Upper Iowa was right for me," says Emily, "I met the team and the coaches and it just clicked for me."
"We're really pleased with that campus. It's a nice program, it's a growing program," says Clendon, "I think it will be a good fit for her."
But for now, college is a distant thought for this Cardinal. Emily's focused on making her final high school season last as long as she can.
"It gives me the drive to go further into tournaments," says Emily, "This is my last high school year and I want to do the best I can in my last year playing with my sister."