• 68°

Copeland at G-W

BOILING SPRINGS — A.L. Brown grad Derrick Copeland has transferred from Division III Emory & Henry to Division I Gardner-Webb.

The 6-foot guard was the 2013 South Piedmont Conference Player of the Year in a league that included players such as Concord’s Connor Burchfield and Cox Mill’s Matt Morgan. That tells you how highly the league’s coaches regarded Copeland, who was the Wonders’ floorleader, ballhandler and most accurate 3-point shooter.

Copeland missed two weeks of his senior season with an ankle injury, but a career-high 30 point effort against North Forsyth in the first round of the 3A playoffs put him over 1,000 points for his career. He finished with 1,015 and was Brown’s first 1,000-point guy since Garrett Sherrill in 2005. Even Josh Gray and Teven Jones fell a bit short of 1,000.

A.L. Brown coach Shelwyn Klutz recognized Copeland’s 1,000-point achievement at the Wonders’ game with East Rowan on Jan. 3. Copeland was home for the holidays and gratefully accepted a basketball commemorating the milestone.

“They named off all my accolades, and it did feel good,” Copeland said. “The coaches, players and fans gave a lot of love back to me. I really appreciated it.”

Copeland was under-recruited for someone with his skills last spring. A good student, his best option was Emory & Henry, a highly regarded academic school in Virginia.

Copeland enjoyed the school and the academic challenges at Emory & Henry.

“But basketball-wise, it wasn’t right for me,” Copeland said. “I wasn’t comfortable with the level of competition there. It felt like high school all over again, and that wasn’t what I wanted. I want to be pushed. I want to get better.”

Copeland had quite a bit of familiarity with Gardner-Webb. It’s a school he liked all along and it’s a school that competes in the D-I Big South with the likes of Campbell, Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Radford, VMI, Winthrop and UNC Asheville.

“I was very interested in Gardner-Webb and I actually made an unofficial visit there my junior year,” Copeland said. “Then I went to a camp there the summer between my junior and senior years. They stayed in touch with me for a while, but then we lost touch. I guess they moved on and I moved on. But now they’ve got a new staff there.”

Tim Craft was named as the new coach of the Runnin’ Bulldogs last summer. Gardner-Webb is currently 7-10.

Copeland began classes at Gardner-Webb last week. He’s already made new friends, and he’s optimistic about his basketball future.

“I’m not on the team now, but I do plan to be on the team next season,” Copeland said. “I’m enrolled for this semester and I’ll be able to work out with the team in the offseason.”

Comments

Comments closed.

China Grove

Reaper’s Realm owners promise beefed-up security after weekend shooting

Business

Contractor expands local footprint, takes on county’s coronavirus projects

News

Home Improvement: Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas

Elections

Political Notebook: Local parties will host watch parties for presidential debate

Crime

China Grove man cited for driving through school field

BREAKING NEWS

October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools

Crime

Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck

Coronavirus

Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county

Education

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning

Business

New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses

Crime

Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call

Crime

Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?

Coronavirus

Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch