Dr. Emily McCracken King '92 - Women's Basketball

     Today, Emily McCracken is the owner and operator of All-Star Veterinary Clinic in Carmel, Indiana. At one time, she was an all-star in her own right here at James Madison University as a member of the women's basketball team that upset top ranked Penn State in the second round of the '91 NCAA tournament. In the same season, JMU women's basketball had a run of 21 straight wins, and the record stands today. McCracken's stout defensive play also landed her on the CAA All-Defensive team three straight years from 1990-92 and she rates 12th in career steals at JMU. She remains 8th in assists and 6th in consecutive starts with 89 games.

     McCracken says that she learned from an early age, if you're going to do something, do it with everything you have. When she said she wanted to play basketball her father told her, "if you're going to play, you're going to practice," recalled Emily. Emily also worked hard in the classroom and earned a spot on the CAA All-Academic Team three straight seasons. Growing up in Indiana, McCracken admired Bobby Knight and the rich basketball tradition in the state. "While he may have got a bad rap, his philosophy, student-athlete priority and commitment to his kids were great," said McCracken.

     Emily embraced going to school so far from home noting that JMU was the perfect size. She remembers her dad saying "life is bigger than Carmel, Emily." Through leaving home, Emily said she learned how to make her own judgments and the JMU community was outstanding in supporting her as a young adult. "Basketball itself was a vehicle to meeting influential persons, it can open doors if you are able to make the commitment," said McCracken.

     Emily enjoys watching her four boys participate in soccer, baseball and track. She is competitive by nature and enjoys being a business owner. She loves working with her hands as well as creating so many valuable relationships with people in her community as a veterinarian. She also enjoys promoting community growth in her hometown. McCracken gives back by coaching and mentoring young people, especially women who want to run their own business. Emily provides internships for many young people in the community. "I feel really luck," said Emily when looking back at her life thus far, "it has all been golden."

     McCracken advises young people today to keep their goals simple and believe that mentors are important. She advises that "people come into your life to lead you in a direction and you listen and don't fight these mentors."