Former hoops player Corey Cooperwood continues career in Australia

Charles Grove, Sports Writer

Former Raider basketball big man Cory Cooperwood is enjoying the land down under as he continues his basketball career in Australia.

After a brief stint in Finland with the Salon Vilpas, Cooperwood found a home with the Sandringham Sabres in Melbourne after a two-year career at Wright State, and plans to be there for the 2013 season.

“It’s cool getting to see a different culture and the world,” Cooperwood said. “Getting to meet new people is great.”

Cooperwood is home in the United States until February, and hasn’t found much transition from American way of life to Australian with one exception.

“The only difference was getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road.”

Cooperwood played his junior and senior years at WSU after playing at Wallace State Community College in Alabama. He graduated from with a degree in Organizational Leadership in 2010.

“I was very comfortable with the coaching staff at the time,” Cooperwood said. “I also wanted to get away from Alabama and go to school someplace else.”

Cooperwood has a few favorite memories from his playing days as a Raider, but most notable to him was winning the San Juan Shootout his junior year in Puerto Rico. Also ingrained in his memory is a comeback home win against conference rival Valparaiso.

“We held them scoreless for like the last six minutes,” Cooperwood said. We were down the entire game and Vaughn Duggins hit a game winning shot. I remember I had 14 rebounds.”

Cooperwood says while the Australian style of basketball is slower than the American style, the physicality is more intense.

“It’s a lot more physical than in college,” Cooperwood said. “It’s probably the most physical style of play I’ve played in.”

Cooperwood keeps up with the WSU basketball team to this day and watches who the team is recruiting to learn about the incoming players.
“I follow the team,” Cooperwood said. “I like watching (JT) Yoho play. I like his game.”

Former teammates are now scattered across the globe, but Cooperwood does his best to keep up with Vaughn Duggins, who plays now in Germany, and Ronnie Thomas, who is a high school basketball coach in Indiana.

While he still has time to debate his post-retirement plans, Cooperwood already has one idea in mind.

“I might be a college basketball coach, but I’m still thinking about it.” Cooperwood said.

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