June 25, 2012
Former Golden Gopher Emily Fox was a standout player for Minnesota from 2005-09. Fox finished her career ranked seventh on the Minnesota all-time scoring list with 1,449 points and was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, including a First Team selection in 2008. The Colorado native now resides in Chicago, where she continues to use her basketball knowledge as a broadcaster for Big Ten Network and as a recruiting coach for NCSA Athletic Recruiting.
Right out of college, Emily Fox had her dream in her hands, as she was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the third round of the WNBA Draft in 2009. Giving it her all, Fox made it to the last day of training camp, before receiving the news that she had been cut.
She may have been devastated at the time, but for every door closed, another one opens. Shortly after, Fox pursued her dreams of playing overseas and headed to Athens, Greece to play for the Esperides Club, where she, along with former WNBA superstar Sheryl Swoopes, helped lead the team to a second-place finish in the Greek A league.
The following season, Fox remained in Athens, but played for Proteas, where she averaged 30.4 minutes and 9.3 points per game. Living right on the beach and being teammates with fellow former Gopher, Ashley Ellis-Milan, Fox was having the time of her life.
"We had a lot of fun over there," Fox said. "It was pretty cool to get to play basketball for a living."
But, after two incredible years of playing overseas, Fox was ready to come home.
"I had a great experience, but I guess I got homesick, it's a different life over there," Fox said. "I decided I wanted to come home and start my life in America."
Starting her life is exactly what she did. Emily was able to spend the summer of 2011 with her family, while also figuring out what the next step in her career would be.
Come September, she received a remarkable opportunity to move to Chicago and work for the Big Ten Network as a production assistant, along with doing in-studio halftime analysis on the air for women's basketball.
When Big Ten Media Day came along for the 2011-12 season, Fox was placed on the opposite side of things, being the one conducting the interviews.
"It was definitely strange but it was really fun," Fox said of the experience. "I interviewed Kiara (Buford) and Jackie (Voigt), which was really cool. Coach Borton wasn't in my room, but I did get to talk to her for a little bit. I also got to interview some of my past opponents, like Sam Prahalis, along with all the coaches I had played against. It was definitely strange being on the other side of things, but it is very exciting to still be involved in the Big Ten and involved with the Gophers."
Unfortunately, the NCAA basketball season doesn't last all year round, leading Fox to look for a full-time job. About four weeks ago, Fox was hired as a recruiting coach for NCSA Athletic Recruiting, where she helps high school athletes receive college scholarships.
"I really enjoy what I'm doing right now," Fox said of the new position. "Being able to have a scholarship and play basketball in college was great for me and it is really fun to be able to give back and share my experiences and my knowledge of the process with young athletes."
A lot of that knowledge comes from the ever-lasting impact that playing for Minnesota has left on her. Fox, now able to look back on her career as a Gopher, has seen the valuables in her experience.
"The relationships I had with my teammates and coaches were so valuable to me, because we were everything like a family," Fox said. "I also miss playing in front of all the fans at Williams Arena. There is no better feeling than running out onto the court at The Barn. I definitely miss all the people, but I still stay in touch with a lot of them and still have a great relationship with Coach Borton. It was a great experience and I definitely miss everybody there."
Fox may be done playing professional basketball for now, but look out Chicago, she still has game! Her all-women's basketball team claimed the league title this year, while her co-ed team also won the championship just last week.
Outside of basketball, Fox continues to prove her athleticism by running marathons. She ran her first Chicago Marathon last summer, and this year rounded up the whole family to train and take part in the 26.2-mile run with her.
Speaking of family, Fox continues to share her talent of her father's invention, speed stacking. Once named the world champion, she admits that she does not compete anymore, but still has her set of cups.
"I definitely have my cups here in Chicago," Fox said. "I brought them in and performed for everyone at the Big Ten Network and, last week, I brought them in and performed for everyone at NCSA. We got my new friends here their own cups, so we taught them all how to stack. Definitely some stacking, but no competing."
With all that she has going on, Fox has been having the time of her life spending her first summer in the windy city.
"Summer in Chicago has been awesome," Fox said. "Going to the beach and going out on the lake is amazing."
Life has fallen right into place for the former Gopher standout and the future will bring whatever it has in stake for Fox, but for now, she is right where she wants to be.
"Right now I am definitely happy where I'm at. I love living in Chicago," Fox said. "My youngest brother goes to Northwestern, so he is here with me as well. I love living in the city! Maybe eventually I'll get into a little coaching... way down the line. I would definitely like to stay involved in basketball, but right now I'm happy!
It is safe to say that Fox is a University of Minnesota student-athlete that will never be forgotten. As she continues to succeed in her career and move forward in life, the Gophers wish her the best of luck and look forward to watching her grow!
- by Kelly Kleine, Athletic Communications Assistant