Emmary McKee’s love for tennis all started with a pink racket


With one swing, one shot, and one point, sophomore Emmary Mckee was captivated by the intense game of tennis. The rising junior at FHC has been enthralled with tennis since she was given her first racket. The completely hot pink racket, down to the strings, was the start of Emmary’s tennis career. 

As her parents, like many, started the hunt to find which sport their child would play, they were looking for one that would suit Emmary. Her aunt played tennis and said that she would enjoy it. Little did they know this would be Emmary’s sport for life. So, at the ripe age of four, Emmary started swinging away, and in no time, this was a new part of her life. 

“I liked tennis off the bat,” Emmary said. “My aunt played in college, and she brought it up and I thought it sounded fun. I’ve played with her a couple of times, and I have fun.” 

Emmary’s aunts’ wise words will always be a part of her tennis journey. The small comment planted the seed for what would turn into a sport that means so much to Emmary.

Running around with her first hot pink racket trying to hit tennis balls, Emmary started to grow as a player. She wasn’t alone though. Some of her first memories of playing tennis are with family members.

Stay consistent with practicing and don’t give up.

“My little brother and I went to MVP for a private practice,” Emmary said. “We would just hit foam balls around. Since I was little, my family and I played on Sundays early in the morning.” 

Those aimless swings over the years turned into sharp targeted shots ready to throw off her opponents. Tennis specifically is a sport that takes a lot of time and repetition to build skill. 

Emmary was privately trained and enjoyed playing with her family most of the time. This all changed in middle school for her once she joined the FHC tennis team. 

“I was serious about tennis in 7th grade because that’s when I started playing for FHC, and I realized it’s fun,” Emery said. “I like playing with other people and against opponents. Once I came to high school and sports started again after covid, I got back into playing. I never went back to private practices. I went to a club, and then, I played for the high school.” 

Playing on a team brought a new sort of light to the game that Emmary especially took pleasure in. The sportsmanship and community are what made her experience playing tennis expand compared to playing solo. 

Other than her aunt, another person that has had an influence on Emmary’s tennis experience is Coach Gallegher. The JV tennis coach is loved by the team. She is supportive and nurturing, while also helping everyone grow. Emmary expressed that she gives great advice she will always carry with her.  

“Coach Gallagher was my first coach at FHC,” Emmary said. “I love the environment she created. I loved how we felt like a little family. I met a good group of friends through that, like Aubrey Gallagher. Coach Gallagher said, ‘Always be nice and friendly. Don’t be snarky; be a good sport. We are representing our school.’” 

Coach Gallegher is an important piece to Emmary’s development as a tennis player and most importantly an amazing teammate. While playing for FHC, Emmary has had many great moments playing, some more stressful than others. 

During the 2023 JV tennis season, Emmary played doubles with her partner Aubrey Gallagher. They were a great duo and worked well together, ready to take down their opponent. Some matches got heated with a close score that drove Emmary and Aubrey to push themselves. 

“One match I felt very tense about was my most recent,” said Emmary. “It was against South Cristian. It was our last match. I wanted to make sure we were having a good time, and we were going to win. All of a sudden, our scores were getting really close, and the game took two and a half hours, so towards the end, I really wanted to win, and I was getting very passionate about winning. I told myself it was my last match, so I don’t want to lose. I just needed to get the ball over and not make any mistakes.”  

With that close game resulting in a win for Emmary, it was a great note to end on for her JV season. Her fierce determination paid off, and she had an amazing season. Filled with hard work and also lots of fun. 

Throughout the years Emmary’s tennis skills have heightened immensely. Her racket has evolved from hot pink to blue. Her once sky-hitting forehands turned into floor-piercing shots. 

She still loves to play with friends and family. Although she is serious about tennis, she relishes the moments when she can just mess around. She believes that persistence and confidence are key to being successful at the game of tennis. 

“Stay consistent with practicing, and don’t give up,” Emmary said. “If you get frustrated, stay out of your head, but always be confident in yourself. It takes time.”