In the era of super teams and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) ball, Prague's Chantae Embry is a throwback player.
Rather than teaming up with the best of the best, Embry wants to go out and beat those players, she said.
Embry is the youngest of five siblings so she knows what it's like to have to fight for her respect. She spent many nights in the driveway testing her ability against bigger, stronger competition in her older brother Ray.
“Ray is very competitive,” Embry said. He never took it easy on me. He is really good at defense so we would always go at it.”
In order to continue elevating her game, Embry has been working out with the Prague football team during their summer workouts.
“I really wanted to go workout with them to improve my overall conditioning,” Embry said. “I really like the challenge.”
The Lady Red Devils basketball team did not make it as far as Embry had hoped, but she used her freshman season as a learning experience and will come back as a better player for her sophomore year.
“Last season I got in foul trouble a few games and teams would often double team me,” Embry said. “I know that I have to stay out of foul trouble and really improve my conditioning so I can move around with the ball so teams can't contain me.”
Becoming a better player is a full-time job. Embry gets up early in the morning and ends her day by getting up shots in the gym.
“I wake up around seven, get to training at eight. I would come home and help my mom with her daycare. I like hanging out with the kids. Then in the evening I would go to the gym and get some shots up.”
Early in her high school career, Embry verbally committed to Oklahoma State. She recently opened her options back up, she said.
“Getting offers early on has really motivated me to work harder,” Embry said. “I know need to continue with that mindset so I don't fall behind. I know there is plenty of competition but that motivates me to get better each day.”
Playing so much AAU ball has really helped Embry in terms of understanding the game and seeing the floor better, she said. When she plays high school ball the competition level isn't like an AAU tournament. Depsite the competition level, Embry can only beat the competition in front of her.
On top of being a standout basketball player, Embry is also a successful student.
“School is very important to me. You can't get into college without good grades so I always put education first,” she said.
Chante's mom, Rhonda Embry is proud of the way her daughter plays the game and focuses on her education.
“I am so proud of her. She's so fun to watch and is very humble,” Rhonda said. “From the time she was in fourth grade I knew she had real potential. Everywhere she goes she makes her teammates better. I love seeing her spirit out there and seeing her passion for school and basketball.”
Like the consummate competitor she is, Embry is focused on winning a state championship during her remaining three years at Prague. She also has some very high, but achievable goals for herself as an individual.
“Winning a state championship is very important. When I'm a senior I want to make the McDonald's All-American team and Jordan Brand Classic and all the awards. Really the main thing is to get better.”
Looking beyond her high school days, Embry's determined to become a professional basketball player, but first receiving a quality education is important, she said.
“Honestly I want to go to the WNBA but more importantly get through college,” Embry said. “My mom really motivates me with how hard she works every day. I want to go out there, make her proud and give her everything that she deserves.”