Upper Moreland senior EmmyFaith Wood became the sixth girls’ basketball player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point mark. Photos and collage provided courtesy of Dan Beck. (Team photos courtesy of UM basketball).
EmmyFaith Wood had a whole lot of time to think about reaching the 1,000-point milestone. Listening to Upper Moreland coach Matt Carroll tell it, it’s been a discussion topic for close to eight years.
“(It was) a milestone we have both talked about since she was in sixth grade, and her coming to Upper Moreland wasn’t even a certainty,” Carroll said. “At that point in time, she was AbbyEllen’s little sister.”
AbbyEllen Wood, a 2020 UM gradate, opted to try out for the girls’ basketball team the day of tryouts.
“For so many reasons, that decision has changed our program more than we know,” Carroll said. “EmmyFaith couldn’t wait until halftime so she could shoot around, and even as a sixth grader, she would have been one of the best shooters on our team.”
Since that season, Carroll has coached EmmyFaith for four AAU seasons with Fencor and the Mid-Atlantic Magic as well as four high school seasons. Last Tuesday night, the UM coach had a front row seat to watch EmmyFaith add her name to the short list of UM girls’ basketball players to reach the elusive 1,000-point milestone.
Wood, who needed 13 points entering UM’s Jan. 17 game against Hatboro-Horsham, put her name in the program’s record books when she buried a 3-pointer in the second quarter.
“There was a bit of relief, for sure,” Wood said. “Over the weekend (before the game), I had a lot of time to think about it, but there was kind of a fluctuation of emotions.
“There would be moments of stress and feelings the expectation – everybody thinks it’s happening tonight, and there’s always the ‘what if that’s not how it goes.’”
Heading into the game, Wood felt surprisingly calm.
“I’m thankful I had a calm that was kind of unexplainable outside of God’s grace, but it was a confidence going into it that I’m really thankful for,” she said. “Game time came, and I was feeling excited. I was really excited, and it was so sweet to see a ton of people I love there.”
It was appropriate that Wood reached the magical milestone on her shot of choice – a 3-pointer – her fourth of the first half.
“It felt really good,” she said. “It was just an exhilaration of excitement and thankfulness and just a sweet moment to celebrate the blessing.”
Wood is the sixth girls’ basketball player in program history to accomplish this feat.
“I’m sure EmmyFaith would’ve liked this to happen sooner, and we could tell recently she was pressing a little bit in games,” Carroll said. “She was missing shots she usually makes and seemed a little off. We talked after the Quakertown game where she shot 1-for-10 from 3, and I told her, ‘An amazing achievement can’t be a burden. You’ve worked too hard to allow a milestone like this to stress you out. Enjoy every moment because you - and a lot of other people - have put in a lot of work and money to get you here.’
“Now she can say she is 1 of 11 Upper Moreland athletes ever to say they scored 1,000 points. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid, and I’m blessed.”
Wood has been playing basketball as long as she can remember.
“I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing basketball,” she said. “Over the summers I would go to Archbishop Wood’s basketball camp and stuff like that.”
When it came time to choose a high school, it was pretty much either Wood or Upper Moreland.
“Through the relationship I got to build with Coach Matt, that is really a big piece of what put me at Upper Moreland,” she said. “I wasn’t positive a few years leading up to high school, but I’m very thankful I’m at where I’m at.”
As for those 1,000-point conversations with Carroll back in sixth grade, Wood says she doesn’t remember the specifics.
“But I definitely remember aspiring to do this,” she said. “There were definitely the aspirations. It’s the center banner when you walk in the gym, and it’s just a really cool honor, and I’m glad for the blessing that I’ve gotten to do this. It’s definitely something I’ve thought about and dreamed about, for sure.”
With the accomplishment behind her, Wood expressed appreciation for her coach.
“(The night I reached a thousand) I had the opportunity to thank him multiple times for literally all that he’s done, the hours in the gym, the hours spent communicating about my mental game, just all the different areas,” the UM senior said. “And the time he put into make the night really special and just really all of it - I’m really so thankful for that, and I’m thankful for the relationship I’ve gotten to have with him of just him pouring into me over and over and helping me grow and develop and challenging me and telling me when I’m doing it wrong and being willing to correct it. I really am thankful for him and the role he’s played over the past eight years.”
In an interesting twist, Wood reached the 1,000-point milestone the same night Carroll’s sister – Souderton coach Lynn Carroll – also had a player reach the 1,000-point mark in Casey Harter.
“It’s crazy,” Wood said. “I’ve played AAU with Casey. She’s a good friend of mine. I FaceTimed her after the game, and we got to talk a few minutes. It really was rough to not be at each other’s 1000-point game, but it was kind of special to get it the same night.”
Wood is planning to continue her basketball career at the collegiate level, but she hasn’t made an official decision where she will be going
For now, her focus is on her final high school season, and Carroll is looking for nothing but good things from a player he describes as “unquestionably, one of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached.”
“Even better than that, she is the nicest kid you’ll ever meet,” Carroll said. “We are in our eighth season together, and I still have to tell her to be more selfish. She really cares about her teammates and others’ perception of her and doesn’t want to be labeled a ‘ball hog.’
“I’ve always told her, ‘The only people who are allowed to complain about you shooting too much are the people who have worked as hard as you.’ Throughout many of our individual workouts, we would look up in the rafters and go through the names of the Upper Moreland basketball players who were fortunate enough to have their name on the 1,000-point scorers’ banner. We knew someday she would get there – it was just a matter of when.”
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