Cory Cooperwood is a 26 year old 200cm forward from Kensett, Arkansas that is playing his first season in Germany for the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. He played at Wright State and as a senior played 32 games: 9.3ppg, 6.1rpg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 71.2%. He got brief basketball experience in Finland and in the American IBL playing for Dayton before moving to Australia in 2012. In his first season in Australia he played for the Sandringham Sabres (Australia-ABA, starting five): 27 games: 18.7ppg, 9.6rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 25.9%, FT: 63.0%. He played the last two seasons for the Stirling Senators (Australia-SBL) and last season played 24 games averaging 18.1ppg, 7.6rpg, 5.3apg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 77.4%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Thanks Cory for talking to German Hoops. You recently signed with the Hebeisen White Wings Hanau. What has been your first impression of Germany?
I really like the basketball atmosphere in Germany. I also like the fact that everybody is behind our team despite the slow start. The fans have stayed with the team even when it was losing. They still kept coming to games and haven´t been the kind of fans that start coming once the losses come. Their support has really made me play harder.
Hoe tough has it been for you coming to a new team late in the season? How has the adjustment been for you?
It can be tough at times, but it has been ok for me. You have to figure out the strength and weaknesses of players. You have to take a crash course and learn as much and as quickly as possible in practice.
Has there been one player that has helped you the most adjust in Hanau?
Cardell Mcfarland helped me the most. He has given me his input how it is for an import player coming in. German Christian Von Fintel also helped me when I came in with the plays and I understood the offensive concept.
You are a strong scoring forward that knows how to rebound. What exactly is your role on the team?
My role is too always bring intensity, be a low post presence, play good defense and be a floor leader.
You played in Australia the last three years. What kind of a basketball experience was that for you?
It was a great experience. It helped me see a different kind of basketball perspective. The basketball philosophe is different everywhere and the time there really helped with my basketball IQ. My time there will help me as a player in Germany.
When I give you the numbers46/23in 2013 and 39/21 in 2014 do you have a clue what they mean?
Hmmm not really.
Well those are the combined points and rebound average between you and Jordan Wild the last two seasons with the Senators.
Ah ha yes I remember those stats. We dominated the league in Australia. We both play with a lot of intensity and we fed off each other those two years. He was a great player and was my basketball brother.
How much of a joy was it playing with him in Australia. I believe you knew him already before meeting in Australia?
Yes I played with him already in 2011 with the program Athletes in Action. We both had a big responsibility to help the younger players on the team. We helped the young kids with what we had learned on the court in college. We clicked together and our ideas bounced off each other. We had good chemistry.
Jordan Wild once told me that you both fought for who had more rebounds and assists. He said he had more rebounds and you had more assists. Was that accurate?
Yes he is right about that. But in our offensive system then I played more down low and while I was banging with two players, he always got a running start to get the rebounds. He was a great rebounder. I like to also show my passing abilities. When I see a guy that is better positioned then I try to get him the ball.
Who was your NBA role model as a kid?
I am a high energy player and those were the type of players that I looked up to. My favorite player is Kevin Garnett, but I also looked up to Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer. I like doing the dirty work and not being flashy.
You played two seasons at Wright State. What could you learn from ex Beko BBL player Vaughn Duggins?
I came in my junior year to Wright State and Vaughn was a guy that always played hard and with intensity. He had such a passion for the game and just taught me so much like to screen or to pick and pop. He was a great teammate.
What do you remember from your battles with current Phoenix Hagen American Todd Brown who was your teammate at Wright State for two years.
Brown was about the same height and size as me. He was one of the most athletic guys that I ever played with. He is a very explosive player and was a great teammate, but we had two different roles at Wright State.
Dashaun Wood and other guys like Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown marveled about how great a coach Bill Donlon was. How did he prepare you for a professional basketball career best?
Donlon is the most dedicated hard working coach that I know. He is very passionate and was strong on principles. He taught me to work harder. He was a great motivator and a very defensive minded coach. I like to talk and yell a lot on the court and I have that from him.
I have heard that Dashaun Wood is a legend at Wright State. Is that accurate?
That is Dashaun Wood folklore. That is correct. Dashaun Wood is a legend at Wright State. When you came onto campus you knew right away who he was. He helped Wright State win their first Horizon conference title. Every player looks up to him that goes to Wright State.
Where will the journey of the Brooklyn Nets end this season?
I haven´t been following the NBA so much since I have been focusing on my career, but they will make the playoffs.
Who wins a one on one you or Jonathan Mesghna?
Me of course.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Equalizer with Denzel Washington.
Thanks Cory for the chat.