De’Von Cooper, expected to be one of the top returning basketball players in Kentucky this season, has transferred to Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, Waggener High School coach Bryan O’Neill said Monday.
Cooper, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, averaged 17.2 points and 4.0 rebounds and shot 38.1 percent from 3-point range last season as a sophomore at Waggener. A second-team All-Seventh Region pick, Cooper reportedly holds scholarship offers from Western Kentucky, Wright State, Toledo, New Orleans and IUPUI.
O’Neill said Cooper visited Findlay Prep last week.
“It turned out it was a great fit for him,” O’Neill said. “I think we’re all very excited for him. As a program I feel like it’s my goal to help kids move along in life and be successful. This another step for De’Von and an opportunity to go to a top-five program in the country.”
Cooper was among several top players scheduled to return from a Waggener squad that finished 17-12 last season and reached the semifinals of the Seventh Region Tournament.
Many have tabbed the Wildcats among the top contenders for the Seventh Region title this season. Seniors Jaalam Hill (14.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg), Jaquan Hendricks (8.4 ppg) and Nicholas Kratholm (7.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Kevin Kirby (7.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and junior Jacquess Hobbs (8.9 ppg) are key returnees.
“We still have plenty of time to put things together,” O’Neill said. “Shoot, a lot of (teams) are still missing football guys. I’m confident with the guys we do have returning – obviously, he’s a great impact player – that these kids will rise to the occasion. I’m excited for them.”