Speed, personality, defense, energy and scoring; all of these qualities are wrapped in Sydney Huntley-Rodgers and make her a highly effective member of Eastern Michigan University’s women’s basketball team.
“She’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached,” Coach AnnMarie Gilbert said. “She has really come into her own.”
Huntley-Rodgers is a 5-foot-7 senior guard out of Cincinnati. Huntley-Rodgers made Eastern her school of choice because of her former teammate Patrice McKinney.
“She had a kind of presence that I want to have,” Huntley-Rodgers said.
Despite her decision to follow in the footsteps of McKinney, Huntley-Rodgers has developed a love for another aspect of her team.
“I like our strength,” Huntley-Rodgers said. “We’ve been through a lot, but we find a way to smile through tough situations.”
In her spare time, Huntley-Rodgers likes to sing.
“She sings all the time,” teammate Paige Redditt said. “In practice, in the locker room; all the time!”
She also loves to shop, so much so she admits to having an outfit for every day of the year, and a pair of shoes for every six days of the year. Huntley-Rodgers’ never-ending shopping-spree is one way her competitiveness comes out, but it also appears on the court.
“She wants to be the best,” Gilbert said. “Whether it’s in how she looks or how she plays, she wants to be better than everyone else out there.”
In her freshman season, Huntley-Rodgers was awarded the Sixth-Man award after playing in all 29 games, making 14 starts.
She averaged 9.5 points, 4.1 assists and 2.0 rebounds.
Since then she has been sharpening her ball-handling and passing skills. As a result, she’s become a better scorer and decision maker.
“I’ve learned how to play with people who possess the same strengths as I do,” Huntley-Rodgers said. “I’ve learned how to make everything count.”
In her final season with the Eagles, Huntley-Rodgers is making a lasting impression on the team. She has played in each of the team’s 16 contests, making 15 starts.
Averaging 24.8 minutes in a game, Huntley-Rodgers is averaging 10.5 points, 2.0 assists and 3.1 steals. She has blocked a total of three shots this season, and when she steps to the free-throw line there is an 81 percent chance that the shot will fall.
For Redditt, Huntley-Rodgers’ dependability off the court is what makes her a better teammate.
“She tries to help, she’s reliable and we know she will always be there for us.” Redditt said. “She always tries to share the ball.”
Huntley-Rodgers is majoring in Health Administration, and at the end of her four-year tenure at EMU, she hopes to play overseas.
Her backup plan is to attend nursing school in Cincinnati.
If you were to ask Huntley-Rodgers exactly what is about basketball that keeps her coming back for more, she would have a simple, yet all-encompassing answer for you:
“It’s one game that’s played the same way by everyone, but it tells everyone’s story differently,” she said.