Dynamic scorer Emily Kozal K’18 was announced as a member of the All-MIAA men’s basketball second team on February 26th. The honor came after a season where Kozal led the conference in points per game and led her team in 3-point shooting percentage.
“Emily is very committed to improving her basketball skills, and also commits to running, lifting, and all the boring stuff off the court as well,” said teammate Grace Smith K’17. Her off the court work and excellent preparation were evident throughout the season as she put on spectacular performance after spectacular performance. Kozal put up a career high 29 points on 10-14 shooting on January 9th as she led the Hornets to a 73-69 victory over Alma.
“The game against Alma, Grace and I just looked at each other and asked ‘what is going on’ as we watched Emily make pretty much everything” said teammate Dani Simon K’18. This was a common theme throughout the season as Emily actually had a streak of four straight games where she put up 20 or more points.
A lot of Kozal’s success comes not just from her ridiculously high talent level but also her incredible work ethic. “She definitely has a great work ethic, she’s always shooting after practice and is also always willing to help out teammates,” Simon said. Kozal’s commitment to the sport, her teammates, and her academics is something that encapsulates what every Kalamazoo College Student Athlete strives to be.
She puts up great numbers on and off the court, earning All-MIAA Second Team this season and MIAA Academic Honor Roll last year. All of these individual awards and success are not what defines Kozal though; her teammates make that abundantly clear.
“She’s a great teammate because she’s truly a great person. She’s always smiling, very inviting,” Smith said. “She is someone who really helps our team. She’s not flashy or arrogant; we all share the great experience together when she shoots lights out.”
Her humbleness, work ethic, and genuine sincerity are just some of the many qualities that make Kozal not only one of Kalamazoo College’s elite, but also one of the MIAA’s elite. She is the first Kalamazoo College Basketball player to win MIAA scoring champion since Mark Ghafari K’14 did it for the men in 2014.
The team, coaching staff, and athletic department are clearly proud of Kozal and very thankful for having her on this team. A lot of excitement exists around herself and the women’s basketball team for next season.