Think back to when you were in 8th grade. Hanging with friends, dreaming about high school, and having a crush on a classmate. While some were struggling to decide what to do after school, Te’a Cooper, a now 5-8 combo guard out of Georgia, made a verbal commitment to play basketball for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
Cooper had previously committed to North Carolina when she was in eighth grade, but she reopened her recruitment in her junior year in high school. At that time, she named 10 finalists including power house schools such as, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisville, Duke and Notre Dame.
A lot of people felt Te’a re-opened the decision her junior year in High School because they felt she “rushed” it and she was too young and not educated enough on what she wanted, which could happen to a lot of young potential student athletes.
But in fact, Te’a knew exactly what she wanted but felt as if things had changed on North Carolinas’ side and she didn’t feel like she would get the best opportunity there anymore. Te’a isn’t trying to live anyone else’s dreams aside from her, which is why she chose the University of Tennessee and will become a lady vol.
“If you know what you want in life why wait? Why waste time? If the opportunity presents itself go and grab it. We often want too much we miss great opportunities right in front of us. Even though I opened my choice for college 3 years after choosing UNC, at that point in time UNC was the perfect choice for me.” Te’a Cooper stated.
Regardless of everything that went on throughout this process she has chosen a top Division 1 basketball school and is working towards leaving her fingerprints all over her high school carrier at McEachern before taking the next step.
Coopers best friend Diamond Deshields (reigning AP rookie of her year) transferred after her first year at North Carolina and is now at Tennessee sitting out this year due to transfer rules.
Tennessee is currently ranked 9th in the country and has some talented young players on this roster especially in the post position. With the addition of Cooper to college, and arguably the best women’s player in the game DeShields back on the court, things are going to get crazy in Women’s Basketball.
Te’a was featured on the MTV show “True Life” where you got a better look into her personal life, and the hard work she puts in to be able to get these offers from a lot of the top Universities in the country.
She averaged 19.6 points per game last season as a junior led and led McEachern to a Georgia state title (her second). She currently is averaging 32.3 ppg, 9 apg, and 4 spg according to Maxpreps. She’s on pace to surpass 2,000 career points, and hopes to lead her squad to another state title.
“It’s all about being happy at the end of the day, and I feel like the University of Tennessee will be that choice for me right now. Location to me was something very big which is why I didn’t consider UCONN as a finalist, I wanted something closer to home but not down the street”.