Posted On: 10/4/18 8:30 AM
Each year, a new wave of freshmen invade the high school basketball scene here in Baltimore. Some are obviously more productive than others, but based off of pure talent, this upcoming class may have the highest upside we’ve seen in years. One team that was fortunate enough to get multiple talented freshmen is McDonogh.
Everett Cooper, a 5-foot-10 point guard, will look to step in and fill the role of a floor general, something the Eagles desperately lacked last season. He is coming off of a productive spring and summer with a solid Team Melo squad.
“It was a great spring and summer for us,” Cooper continued, “we played in a lot of tournaments and did well in them. We went down to Georgia and played well. I thought we could’ve played better but we were able to bond and I feel like we’ll be really good if we all stick together in the coming years.”
Cooper has an aggressive mentality with the ball. I wouldn’t necessarily label him a scoring point guard, but whenever he saw an opportunity for himself, he looked to take advantage. Throughout this spring and summer, he kept in mind the aspects of his game he’d need for this McDonogh team in the tough MIAA A Conference.
“Really just my ball handling and becoming more of a point guard,” Cooper said reflecting on the improvements he made the past few months. “Being able to set up guys and make my teammates better.”
Playing varsity as a freshmen is challenging at any level, but Cooper has confidence in his skills and has played against some of the top players in the area already to help him feel more comfortable with the transition.
“”My mindset is just believing in myself and that I can do anything,” Cooper told Prep Hoops. “I’m ready for everything. I’m not going to be scared of anything.”
Every coach has different philosophies, but in my opinion, if you don’t have a point guard that can guard the ball defensively, you’re in for a long season. Luckily with Cooper, he already has a similar outlook.
When asked to describe his game, Cooper had this to say:
“I’m a defense first type of guy. I’m a believer that if you play good defense, your offense will come to you. But I do think I’m a pretty good shooter and can find the open guy. Throughout this year, I just need to improve my overall game, though. Everything from ball handling, defense and finishing. I just feel like I have to get a lot better.”
Cooper is a dual-sport athlete with basketball and baseball. Although he hasn’t garnered any interest yet on the hardwood, Maryland and Tennessee have expressed interest in him for baseball.
It’s a ways down the road, but I asked Cooper if he had to choose one to play in college, he had a funny, but honest (and true) response.
“Baseball is where the money is at, but I like basketball more (laughs).”