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Senior guard Amanda Copas helped the women’s basketball team reach new heights of success this season. Copas led the Leopards to a .500 winning percentage and scored her 1,000th career point along the way.
On Feb. 7 against Whittier Copas sank two free throws, solidifying her name in Leopards history. Copas became the ninth player in the history of the women’s basketball program to reach 1,000 career points.
“It was a little scary. I was thinking, was this ever going to happen?” Copas said. “I’m glad that it’s off my shoulders, and I reached it. I was proud of myself.”
Copas began playing basketball at the age of three. She grew up in Rancho Cucamonga and played her high school basketball at Los Osos High School before she ended up at the University of La Verne.
In Copas’ first year at La Verne the women’s basketball team had an interim head coach, before head coach Matt Rogers stepped in and filled the role.
“Her entire game has improved top to bottom,” Rogers said. “The biggest improvement she made these past three years is to her mental toughness.”
“She has become a very balanced player and leader and someone who is capable if winning a game for us in many different roles,” Rogers said. “She had different games this year in which she led us in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and free throw attempts. That’s impressive in itself.”
Copas finishes her four year career ninth all-time in scoring, eighth in three pointers, fourth in assists, third in steals and tied for fourth all-time in appearances, playing in 100 games. But looking past all the statistics, Copas said she has improved the way she handles things the most.
“I’m very passionate about the game: winning and losing, all of that,” Copas said. “Being able to let plays go when they don’t go my way and come back and turn it around I always did that before, but I guess in a more emotional way. I stay level headed, not only for myself but for the team.”
“Amanda was our senior leader and primary attacker. She usually had the toughest defensive assignment each night, so she was paramount to everything we do,” Rogers said
Copas is a liberal studies major and hopes to get into elementary school counseling after graduation.
In her free time, Copas enjoys hanging out with her friends and teammates and enjoying food from south of the border like King Taco.
Copas not only left an impression on the Leopard record books, but also on her younger teammates.
“Meeting so many different people and getting to know all these girls is something I’m going to miss,” Copas said.
“She is the one person that has shown me what it takes to become a great athlete at La Verne,” junior guard Megan Musashi said.
“Copas is extremely hard working and always strives for more. She is constantly working to improve her game as well as pushing her teammates to compete at the highest level. Not only is she a great basketball player, she is a very caring and generous person. I have learned so much from her and am very grateful to call her my teammate and friend,” Musashi said.
Christian Orozco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.