Freshman * A.I. du Pont * girls basketball
THE WEEK: Scored 23 points in a 66-40 victory over Delcastle last Monday, and scored 22 points in a 61-48 victory over Newark on Thursday.
THE GAME: The Tigers have only played five games, but Cooper believes that Newark has been the toughest competitor thus far, especially because the young guard was in some foul trouble early in the fourth quarter. For the game against Delcastle, Cooper said, “The more shots I took, the more they went in.”
THE SEASON: Last season, the Tigers finished 11-9. This is the best start for A.I. in several years as they travel to Middletown (1-3) today at 5:15. The Tigers haven’t had much trouble with the Cavaliers in past years and Cooper is ready. “We’re going to play hard and with intensity,” she said.
THE FEELING: Cooper was “proud and nervous at the same time” when she stepped on the high school court with her varsity jersey on for the very first time. Cooper said, “Senior leadership is [key] on the team. Jac [Jaclyn Purzycki] just took me under her wing and I just filled in great.”
THE COACH SAYS: Leroy Watson, A.I.’s third-year coach, enjoys watching Cooper’s court awareness. “When I realized what caliber of a player she is, I immediately threw the weight on her shoulder and she responded quickly,” said Watson, who needed the freshman to take a leadership role.
THE STRENGTH: Cooper has been playing basketball since the fifth grade, and she is averaging 16.6 points per game. Cooper thrives on shooting the rock, but Watson is most impressed with Cooper’s willingness to play consistent defense.
THE CLASSROOM: When asked about her favorite subject, Cooper said, “Math, because I just like doing it. It’s easier to me.”
THE FUTURE: The 14-year old has a long way to go, but she has big plans. “I want to be a doctor in sports medicine,” she said. “I want to play basketball in college for a Division I school.”
– Gianna Banner