Dylan Lutey (@dylan_lutey)
Andrew and Rebecca Emory brought their sons to Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Arena as kids to see the Blue Hens face their alma mater William & Mary.
They likely envisioned their boys Houston and Macon one day suiting up for the Tribe, like they both did.
The brothers will play together at the college level at a program they grew up watching. It just won’t be the one their parents were rooting for.
Macon announced his commitment to Delaware last week, where he will team with his older brother Houston, now heading into his sophomore season for coach Martin Ingelsby at UD.
“It’s nice that I can go to a place where I’ve seen a little bit, and it kind of hits the sweet spot for me because (I went) to all of those games,” Macon said in a phone call last week. “It’s kind of nostalgic in a way.”
“I think they would have loved me to go to William & Mary, but they are super happy I am going to Delaware with Houston."
Perkiomen School 2024 forward Macon Emory committed to Delaware earlier this month. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Basketball is in Macon’s blood.
Andrew was a 6-foot-9 center who played in 54 games at William & Mary. Rebecca played four years on the hoops team as well. Macon and Houston started their basketball journeys on a mini hoop in the basement of the family’s home in Devon, Pa.
At 6-foot-9, Houston always seemed destined for a Division I hoops career. Gifted with above average size (6-7) and athleticism, it would have been hard to bet against the youngest Emory following a similar path as his parents and brother.
After racking up more than 10 scholarship offers during the last five months, it became clear that Macon would indeed become the next member in his family to play Division I basketball.
“It felt like a weight off my shoulders,” Macon said. “It just felt good knowing that I am going to be able to play Division I basketball."
Macon's high school career started at his local public school, Conestoga, where he played JV as a freshman. After one season, he transferred to Blue Ridge, a boarding school located in Virginia, joining Houston who played all four years there.
Houston was more of a traditional post player for Blue Ridge, scoring and defending near the hoop to help the program win four state titles. During his two seasons at Blue Ridge from 2020-22, where he was a two-time state champion, Macon developed from primarily a post player because of his size into a 3-and-D wing.
“I was working on my defense, working on my shot, getting everything right with (my) mechanics and all of that,” Macon said.
After his brother graduated, the younger Emory came back close to home to stay closer to his family and make things easier for his parents. He enrolled into the Perkiomen School last school year and reclassified into the Class of 2024.
When Macon first stepped onto Perkiomen’s campus he carried the same mindset that he had when he got to Blue Ridge: keep adding versatility.
“I wanted to start becoming more of a three-level scorer,” Macon said. “(I wanted) to start getting to the rim, finishing, using my athleticism on people. I would also work on rip throughs and getting downhill.”
He went on to show off his improved versatility during his junior season, averaging 9.0 points, and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc. He earned third team all-state honors and helped the Panthers bring home their first PAISAA title.
Macon carried the momentum into the spring EYBL Circuit, playing with Team Melo for the first time. He showed off a lot of versatility, most notably against Paul George Elite where he scored 17 points, went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line, grabbed four rebounds, and added a blocked shot. He also littered the stat sheet against Boo Williams with six points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
“I think my shot is pretty consistent,” Macon said. “I’m getting to the rim a lot more and also posting guys up when I get the chance. I’d say from where I started to now, it’s been a huge growth from just being a shooter to now kind of being an all-around guy.”
Perkiomen School's Macon Emory, right, goes up to block George School's Kachi Nzeh during the PAISAA championship game last season. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Naturally, because of his older brother, Delaware started recruiting him pretty early on. The brothers played for Team Loaded 757 together in the spring of 2022, when Houston was an uncommitted senior. The Blue Hens came to watch him and stumbled upon the younger Emory.
From that point on, they kept tabs on Macon and ended up attending a few of his games for Perkiomen during the 2022-23 season. Delaware was the first program to offer him on April 26.
Bucknell, UAlbany, UPenn, Lafayette, Long Island, Florida Gulf Coast, Robert Morris, William & Mary and Mount St. Mary’s followed suit, offering him before the June and July live periods.
An ankle injury during the second EYBL session in Phoenix kept Macon out for most of the early summer live periods, which he said “stunted (his) recruitment”. He played with WeR1 in mid-July and ended up receiving three more offers from Longwood, Binghamton and Lafayette.
After sorting through the list, he took official visits to Delaware, FGCU and William & Mary.
During his final decision process he confided in both his parents and brother. He was comforted by the fact that despite his family members having ties with two of the three schools, they didn’t have any rooting interest.
“(My parents) didn’t have any strong opinions on this or that,” Macon said. “They were really letting me make the decision myself and told me wherever I went, they would be happy.”
“(Houston) kept it real with me about the program. He said, ‘I would love for you to come play here, but if that’s not what you want then don’t.’ He let me make my own decision too.”
In the end Ingelsby and Delaware won out.
“Delaware really stood out to me with what they have to offer in terms of academics, how they can use me, how they change my body with putting on weight, and overall they do the little things right,” Macon said.
There should be an opportunity for Macon to play a role during his freshman season. As things currently stand, there will only be two forwards on the roster in his brother and Virginia Military Institute sophomore transfer Tyler Houser.
“They want to utilize my shot and play me at the 3,” Macon said. “He (Ingelsby) wants me to work on my ball handling, so I can create more shots, but he sees me as a guy who just plays the game right and someone who can guard 1-4.”
Although his brother being at Delaware didn’t sway him one way, he is certainly excited to be reunited with him.
“We were really happy,” Emory said. “That’s something we are both looking forward to next year. We are getting on the court together again, just like at Blue Ridge.”
With his ultimate decision made, Macon has a lot to look forward to in the future, but his attention is in the present as he steps into more of a featured role to help the Panthers try to defend their PAISAA title this season
“I want to focus on killing the season,” Emory said. “I want to get another state championship, it would be nice to bring another one home (to Perkiomen). This season is really about getting wins and having a good time.”