FORT WAYNE – Emma Hyndman may not always be noticed for the Canterbury girls basketball team, but most of the time the senior can be heard loud and clear.
Hyndman may not be the most recognizable member of the No. 3 Cavaliers (20-4), who play top-ranked Heritage Christian (26-1) in today’s Class 2A state title game, but she is the team’s emotional and vocal leader.
I tend to shy away from the cameras, Hyndman said.
There are times I am kind of jealous, and I wish I got some recognition, but at the end of the day, I like that I get to share it with everybody else. No one else really knows, and it is kind of that special thing that makes me special on the team.
Hyndman averages only 2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.7 assist for Canterbury, which is chasing its third straight state championship and sixth in seven years.
And her influence is important, even though she is not always on the court. As the Cavaliers were rallying from a 10-point third-quarter deficit in last Saturday’s semistate against No. 5 Tipton, Hyndman was on the sidelines making sure she was the loudest and her teammates heard her shouting encouragement. It worked as the Cavaliers rallied for a 79-65 win.
My role is in those tough times like when the momentum is going against us, and when we need to pick it up, Hyndman said. I feel like my role on the team is to bring everyone together and give the strength and belief that we know we will win the championship.
When the team breaks a huddle or comes out of the locker room, it’s Hyndman who leads the cheers of together.
Even when she’s not on the floor, that’s her team out there, Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger said. She’s a kid who leads by example. From a coaching perspective, the role she has been asked to play she has never questioned. She has always stepped up and done the things she knows will help the team.
A three-year starter and team captain, Hyndman has two Class A state titles and is going for a third today in 2A at the Hulman Center on the campus of Indiana State.
I don’t score a lot; I don’t get a lot of fame and stuff, Hyndman said. I play with Darby (Maggard) and Kindell (Fincher), they are like the most popular players in Fort Wayne.
The dirty work usually goes to the 5-foot-9 Hyndman: setting the screens, blocking out and playing tough interior defense. She is used to the physical play as the goalie on the soccer team.
She just brings so much positive energy and leadership, said Maggard, who acknowledged Hyndman’s leadership in practice. It’s tough to describe. All the little things, she does. She does things nobody else wants to do. She’s out there doing things that don’t get recognized. That’s what makes her so special. She doesn’t expect to get recognized for them, she just knows that’s her job, and she takes pride in her job.
Kreiger called Hyndman the ultimate role player.
The kid goes out and does what we ask her to do and does it efficiently and effectively, the veteran coach said.