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Five Minutes with Coug Emma Nankervis

Sep 1, 2020

Over the coming weeks, we will catch up with and spend five minutes with a number of Cougar student-athletes. Next up is Washington State women's basketball sophomore Emma Nankervis.

You've been in Pullman for a while now, but how was it traveling internationally during a pandemic?
"It was hard to even find a flight to leave Australia. We had a travel ban throughout the country, so I had to apply for a travel exemption to leave. I had to fill out a lot of forms explaining why I needed to be back in Pullman. Once I got approval, I found a flight and booked it. People were spread out on the plane, wearing masks keeping a safe distance. It was strange traveling with so few people on the plane."

How long after you got back to Pullman did it take you to get back onto the basketball court for practice?
"I went straight to my place in Pullman once I arrived. I was quarantined for about two weeks, which meant I had a lot of time to myself. I had teammates bring me weights for home workouts, but it was still a bit lonely. After two weeks, I got tested and made sure I was fit to play. Once I got cleared, I was able to return."

How have workouts been going and how happy are you to have to team back together again, since not seeing one another since basically March at the Pac-12 Tournament?
"I really missed the team. We spent so much time together during the season, then all of a sudden, I'm back in Australia for four months without them. It was really nice to get back and catch up with the team. It's been interesting talking to my teammates to hear how different each country is handling this pandemic. It's just been great to be back with the team and the coaches. You can feel that we've missed each other, and it's so refreshing to be back together."

How are you and the team mentally preparing for a season that begins in January?
"We're practicing and preparing as though we will be playing in November. We're not slacking off, or thinking we have plenty of time to get to where we need to be. We're working really hard, and we understand that we're going to have more time to practice this season and prepare for the Pac-12 season.

You recently spoke to the new incoming Washington State students at convocation in August. How did that come about, and how honored were you to be chosen to speak to the incoming WSU students?
"I got a text message from my academic advisor asking if I would be interested to speak to new WSU students. She thought I would be a good choice and I accepted her offer. First, I had to record a 15-second speech giving advice to new WSU students. A selection committee liked my speech, so I move onto the next round where I was told to write another three-minute speech. I did that, then soon after I got an e-mail saying I've been selected to speak at convocation. At first, I didn't know how big of a deal this was, but once the filming started and I saw how many people were involved, I realized what a great honor it is to be selcted to speak at convocation. It was a lot of fun, and I'm very thankful and appreciative to have been selected."

What are some differences from your freshman year to your sophomore year?
"The biggest difference is that this year I'm coming in knowing what to expect. I settled in pretty well last year, but now that I know what the expectations are from our coaches and how school works here in America, I've really been able to settle down. Last year, I had to learn a lot of new terminology, both on the court and in the classroom. Now that I get it and have an understanding of it, I want to be as helpful as I can be to all of our new players to help them settle into Pullman."