Yanero surfaces as star on hardwood or canvas

January 26, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

For Emily Yanero, athletics and art blend easily.

That's obvious in one of her recent works hanging in Mount Hebron basketball coach Dave Greenberg's office. The tiny bits of colorful paper arranged beneath the word "defense" form two girl basketball players in action.

The painstaking precision of her artwork reflects the way the All-Metro second-team guard approaches basketball -- and everything else she does.

"When Em takes something on, she really does it right," said Greenberg as Yanero approaches her 1,000th career point. "She really expects to excel and she's not satisfied unless she's doing it well. She's a perfectionist."

As she has in basketball, Yanero demonstrated plenty of natural ability in her first art class two years ago. Teachers were so impressed that this year they accelerated the 4.0 student through two years of art into Mark Coates' senior studio class.

"She's incredibly creative," said Beth Miller-Hanna, who taught Yanero's first art class. "She's self-motivated and the way she looks at things is different than the average student, so her outcome will be a little bit more."

Most of Yanero's artwork has nothing to do with sports. Her creations hanging in the Mount Hebron studio were inspired by Romeare Bearden, an African-American artist.

"He does what people would think are collages, but he doesn't call them that," said Yanero. "They're scenes from African-American life. I find them really powerful."

She chose to research Bearden and create something based on his influence for her senior thesis project. "That's not really the choice you would expect from a white suburban girl," said Coates, "but Emily wants to find out about new things. Her work shows a real maturity, an awareness of self. She has the ability to reflect theworld around her and really make it personal for her."

Most of the students at Mount Hebron already have at least one piece of Yanero's work. She designed the cover of last year's yearbook, "Valhalia." Now editor-in-chief, Yanero arranged several drawings of timepieces to illustrate last year's theme, "The Hands of Time."

"Art is important like basketball, but it's a totally different thing," said Yanero. "Basketball is so much more intense and art is something I've really done for fun. I'm not saying basketball isn't fun, but art is relaxing. There's no pressure."

Although Yanero has been recruited by several Division I schools, she still is weighing her options. She wants a comfortable fit not far from home like brother Tony, now at the Naval Academy, -- and she wants time for other interests.

"It's not that I don't want to focus on basketball, but there's so many other things I want to try," said Yanero.

Still, much is expected of the seventh-ranked Vikings' 5-foot-8 shooting guard this season.

Despite the defensive slant of her gift to Greenberg, Yanero is best known for her offense. Sometime in the next week, she should score her 1,000th career point.

Yanero needs just 28 points to reach 1,000, which would keep her sixth on the Vikings' all-time scorers list. With her 13.9-point average and at least 11 games left, she could move up as high as third. She needs 1,075 points to pass former teammate Erica McCauley, now in third. That mark would entrench Yanero behind 1982 grad Doreatha Beck's 1,676 points and 1987 grad Amy Mallon's 1,313.

Along with her many skills, Yanero brings a quiet leadership to the court.

"She's one of the most humble kids," said Greenberg. "She's real caring and sensitive to the other kids. I think, even though she's competitive, she's not the kind of nature some Division I schools are looking for. She plays hard, but other things are just as important to her. I think that's what makes her neat."

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