Former WSU hoops player Cooper Land continues career in Europe
While his college basketball days are behind him, former Raider Cooper Land is still living his dream playing professional basketball in Europe.
Cooper graduated from Wright State in the spring of 2011 with a degree in Communication. Since then, has played basketball professionally for the Asker Aliens (Norway) and most recently for the Kirchheim Knights (Germany).
“It is definitely a different lifestyle over here and it takes a while to adjust,” Land said. “Luckily in the places I’ve been, everybody has been really friendly and the cultures have been pretty western.”
Land considers it a blessing to get paid to play the game he loves, and to see parts of the world he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see.
Land traveled to Israel this past summer with Athletes in Action, a Christian organization whose goal is to build spiritual movements through the platform that sports offer. Land visited over 40 biblical sights and participated in a tournament in Palestine.
The trip changed the way he looks at things.
“[Traveling to Israel] was the best experience of my life,” Land said. “My personal faith in Jesus Christ grew because being in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas where the stories of the Bible took place allowed those stories to be brought to life. I was also able to spend a lot of time with the natives of the area and hear firsthand about the struggles between Israel and Palestine.”
Land, whose father Bill Land is the radio voice of the San Antonio Spurs, started playing organized basketball at the age of six. He dreamed of playing basketball for a living. Land calls the ability to live out his dream a “rewarding feeling.”
While he may not be playing in the NBA, Land claims the skill level is still very high.
“The European game is very skilled, but not as athletic as the NBA,” Land said. “Guys over here have great footwork, and overall the shooting is really good. However in Germany, there are a ton of American players, so in some ways it’s very similar to American basketball.”
After his playing days are complete, Land hopes to stay involved with the game through coaching.
“I’m pretty sure I want to get into high school coaching when I’m done playing,” Land said. “I love being a part of a team.”