Latrobe basketball standout Emma Blair verbally commits to S.C. Upstate

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Sunday, August 7, 2022 | 9:03 PM


Emma Blair wanted to make her college commitment before the start of her senior year.

The rising senior basketball standout at Latrobe didn’t want to wait around for any more Division I scholarship offers, though, so she snagged the first one on the table.

Blair announced Sunday a verbal commitment to South Carolina Upstate, a Big South school in Spartansburg, S.C.

The 6-foot-1 Blair, a traditional post player known for her routine double-figure performances in points and rebounds, also looked closely at three Division II programs closer to home: Seton Hill, Shippensburg and Gannon.

Also a player to watch for the Western Bruins in AAU, Blair saw her recruiting shift into overdrive this summer as schools swarmed.

USC Upstate, though, was the blue ribbon winner for the long-legged center.

“I chose Upstate because the whole environment there is so inviting and positive,” Blair said. “The coaches are amazing and have been really involved with me throughout my recruiting process, and the team gets along so well. The coaches and players are like one big family there, and I knew that after I saw this group I wanted to be a part of it.”

But there was more to her decision than the campus lure, which can magnetize any impressionable high school player.

“The system that Upstate plays also was the right fit for me,” said Blair, the reigning Tribune-Review Westmoreland Player of the Year who averaged 13.6 points and 12.5 rebounds as a junior. “I could see myself going there ever since I went there for a basketball camp in June.”

Her role could change at the next level, but Blair is ready to be a key contributor around the basket.

“Upstate utilizes its post players, so finishing at the rim will be a big role at the next level,” she said. “Rebounding, outlet passes and being a good teammate are all roles that I hope to bring to Upstate as well.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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