DURHAM, N.C. -- Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior Emma Tucci to learn more about the Rye, N.Y., native.
GoDuke.com: Name your three favorite things about being a student-athlete at Duke.
Emma Tucci: First off, I’d say the people. The Duke community in general is super supportive of Duke student-athletes. And the other athletes I’ve been able to meet in classes or in the K center have really made my experience awesome. Second, just being able to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. When you leave Duke, you’ve kind of left a mark on your team and the program, and it’s something you can look back on and think, ‘Wow, that’s something I’ve been a part of for four years.’ Whenever you see Duke playing on TV or you meet other Duke students it’s great to feel like you’re a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. Third, definitely my teammates. Throughout the past four years I’ve had the opportunity to meet really special girls and some of those friendships have continued even after people have graduated. That’s just something I’m so appreciative of every day, being able to be a part of something and spending time with people that I love.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite competition-related memory?
ET: My favorite memory probably was my freshman year. We went down to Gainesville, Florida to play the Gators in the second round of NCAAs. We had worked so hard all week. I remember it was pushing high 80s degree temperature. We knew going down there was going to be really tough as well in terms of weather. We had an awesome senior class my freshman year that really took charge of the team. We felt great and really confident going into that game, flew down there and ended up beating the Gators, and that was our game that kind of set the tone for us going into the final four. It’s a game I’ll never forget. Players like Kat Thomas, Sarah Bullard, Virginia Crotty, just really being relentless forces on the field. And to be a freshman and being able to go to the final four is something that has never left me.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite memory away from competition?
ET: My favorite memory away from competition is just hanging out in the locker room. I’m someone who likes to get there kind of early and just hang out and catch up with people and have occasional dance parties here and there. Just that hangout time in between practice in the locker room is something that’s really special. It’s just a way to be friends and teammates. I also loved going to Jacksonville last year for spring break. That was a really fun trip. Our white water rafting trip this fall was quite an experience. [Assistant Coach] Amanda Barnes was on my boat. We saw a lot of tumbles, lots of falls, people were scared. That was a really great experience. I’ll never forget that.
GoDuke.com: Name three things you want to do in the next 10 years.
ET: I am dying to see elephants in the wild. That’s got to happen in the next 10 years. I would hope that within the next 10 years I will be married and starting a family. The third would be to take a really cool trip, somewhere like Africa or Australia or somewhere kind of exotic.
GoDuke.com: Name your three favorite restaurants in Durham.
ET: Number one is Nana’s Taco; I go there almost once a week. Second would have to be Nosh. Third, I’d have to go with Sushi Love.
GoDuke.com: Who are three athletes you admired growing up?
ET: Someone I admire now, well two players, are Tyler [Thornton] and Josh [Hairston] on the basketball team. I’ve gotten to know them, I have classes with them. I just really admire their leadership and the energy and passion they bring to the team. I think they both possess different roles on the team, but you can always tell they’re working hard, bringing the energy and motivating their teammates. I definitely consider them people I look up to in terms of leadership. A female athlete, someone that inspired me when I was a freshman was Kat Thomas. She was such an influence on my work ethic and just a testament to being a workhorse on the field and really getting the job done, but also setting a positive example off the field as well. My freshman year we had an incredible class of seniors and I still look to them today for advice and support. Another athlete I admire is Serena Williams. She plays with such passion, intensity and energy. I love her style.