Laura Harper

Cheltenham’s Laura Harper named Coppin State women’s basketball head coach. — Coppin State Photo

Harper named Coppin State women’s basketball head coach

Laura Harper, who starred at Cheltenham High, University of Maryland and played in the WNBA, has recently been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Coppin State University in Baltimore.

“It is a dream come true to be named the new head women’s basketball coach at Coppin State University,” said Harper in a statement. “I am very thankful for the special opportunity that President Jenkins, Mr. Carter, Mrs. Person and Mrs. Carrington-Johnson have granted me. Having a platform as a woman of color, while coaching at an HBCU during this racially sensitive time in our country, inspires me, and I am beyond ready to help lead this group of committed, young women into a new era of Eagles basketball.”

Harper has plenty of coaching experience. She has been an assistant coach at Loyola (Maryland 2013-14), High Point University (2014-16), George Washington University (2016-17) and the University of Florida (2019-20). She most recently served as a head coach at Montverde Academy, one of the best scholastic basketball programs in the state of Florida. She led the team to a 18-6 record while helping five seniors receive Division I scholarships.

As a player, Harper was very successful. Harper was a high school All-American coming out of Cheltenham High School. She played her college basketball at Maryland. In 2006, she helped Maryland win the NCAA championship. Harper was also named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament.

In 2008, she was chosen in the first round of the WNBA Draft, 10th pick overall by Sacramento Monarchs. She played one season in the WNBA, then went on to play professional basketball in Turkey, Italy and Russia.

Harper is the daughter of Haviland Harper, who played basketball at Central High and George Washington University and who had a great career as the head boys’ basketball coach at Central High School for several years.

Youth Basketball to open “Lace Up & Learn Up” Camp SeriesPhiladelphia Youth Basketball has organized its youth development and community empowerment programming during a time when a number of organizations are cutting back due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Aug. 3, PYB will start the “Lace Up & Learn Up” Summer Camp Series, a four-week, in-person program in partnership with Xponance’a affiliate, A Good Measure Foundation and Fitler Club.

The camp will take place Monday through Friday from Aug. 3-28 at the 23rd Street Armory, which is being converted into a temporary multi-court setup that will accommodate a group of 40 students at a time. Days will be split into two sessions: The session from (9 a.m. to noon is for rising 3rd- to 5th-graders, while Session II from 1-4 p.m. is for rising 6th- to 8th-graders.

Registration comes with a PYB dri-fit T-shirt, personal basketball, water bottle and mask. Each camp session will feature basketball skill development, academic enrichment, coaching and mentorship, and healthy lunch and nutrition education. For more information on the camp, go to www.phillyyouthbasketball.org.

Atlantic 10 announces 2020-21 basketball pairings

The Atlantic 10 Conference recently announced the men’s basketball team schedule pairings for the 2020-21 season. The upcoming season will mark the 45th anniversary for the A-10 and will have a 18-game league slate for the seventh consecutive year.

Saint Joseph’s and La Salle are the two local schools in the A-10. This year’s conference schedule for Saint Joseph’s includes home-and-home versus Davidson, George Mason, La Salle, Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. In addition, Saint Joseph’s will entertain Massachusetts, Richmond, Saint Louis and VCU, with road contests at Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham and George Washington finishing out the league schedule.

La Salle’s home and home games will be Fordham, Massachusetts, Richmond, Saint Josephs’ and Saint Louis. The Explorers will host Davidson, Duquesne, George Washington, Rhode Island with road games at Dayton, George Mason, St. Bonaventure and VCU.

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