Emily Shurina said she hates the spotlight, but her skills on the basketball court attract attention.
Of course, the spotlight comes with the territory as one of Nassau’s top scorers. The East Meadow girls basketball star is averaging 20.5 points per game — sixth best in Nassau.
On Monday, she did what she does best.
On a step-back corner three-pointer in the third quarter of a 56-52 loss to host Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK, Shurina crossed the 1,000-point plateau, making her the first girl in East Meadow history to accomplish the feat. She had 24 points in the game.
“She is the best player that East Meadow’s ever had . . . and there isn’t a close second,” Jets coach Peter Olenik said.
Because POB didn’t have an announcer at the game, Olenik called a timeout and announced the accomplishment from half-court. He didn’t talk to his team during the stoppage. He just wanted to put the focus on Shurina.
“Honestly, I was just overjoyed,” Shurina said. “I didn’t really expect anything. I didn’t think of it as a really big deal. Then my whole team came out and it was overwhelming. Usually in the middle of a play people don’t just run up and hug you. Everyone was watching and I saw cameras, so it was definitely something different.”
East Meadow’s all-time leading scorer will also be honored before Friday’s home game against Hicksville in a pregame ceremony.
Olenik speaks glowingly of the 5-9 junior. He’s in his fourth year coaching East Meadow, and his first season coincided with Shurina’s first on varsity.
“I brought her up as an 8th grader,” he said. “That was my first year. I’ve been there from Point 1 to Point 1,000.”
Shurina is a natural scorer from any position on the court and acts as a stabilizing force for the Jets, who are 7-6 overall and 2-4 in Nassau AA-II.
Even if she doesn’t like it, all eyes are on her when she’s on the court. With her scoring chops and place in East Meadow history, it’s impossible for her to avert the spotlight.