Cory Cooperwood is a 27 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 Wright St. (NCAA) playing 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 before game two against Rostock.
Cory thanks for talking to German Hoops A big 78-74 win against the Rostock Sea Wolves. Was one of the deciding factors in the last minute that Hanau just had the stronger nerves?
We came together as a team and made big plays to win against a very good Rostock team. We just believe in each other’s ability to make big plays when they matter.
Christian Von Fintel hit a big three pointer aided by your assist and you sealed the win with free throws. Was the fact that your assist and not a bucket or rebound helped secure the win uncharachteristic?
I will do anything for the team. I had faith in my teammate to make the shot when it mattered the most.
You led the team with Cardell Mcfarland with five assists a piece. How much pride do you take in finding your teammates?
I feel like that’s one of my strengths as a basketball player. I take pride in helping my teammates be the best players they can be. From finding the open shooter, setting good screens or help side defense on drive penetration. These are parts of the basketball game that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, but I take pride in them.
Would Hanau have won the game without the services of Josef Eichler?
I don’t think we would have won the game if Josef did not play the way he did. He made 4 three pointers as well as a huge offensive rebound at the free throw line to make Rostock foul again to eventually give us a four point lead.
Top Pro B player Canadian Yannick Anzuluni was a pest as always scoring 22 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists. Is he one of the more complete players that you have seen this season?
Yes he is. He can pretty much do it all. He size at the 3 position make him a match up problem almost every night that he plays. He does a really good job of finding the open man.
Hanau can close out the series in Hanau this weekend and reach the semi finals. What will be key in getting the win at home?
Playing hard, playing smart and playing together
The team won eight of their last nine games coming into the playoffs. What has been the biggest strength of head coach Steven Clauss that has made this huge turn around?
Coach Steven gives his players the freedom to play. He doesn’t hold any of us back on the basketball court. Which is the type of coach I love to play for.
The Bochum series was a tough one. What did the club learn from this season that helped them prepare for the tough opponent with Rostock?
I think the key factor has been the team knowing more about each other. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses which is key for any team trying to win a championship.
You have had a very solid season with Hanau averaging 14,6ppg, 6,9rpg and 1,8apg. Why do you think the adjustment period for you been so easy?
I think coming into the season five games and a preseason behind, forced me to learn about the league and the team at a fast rate. I didn’t have time to slowly adjust to everything. Which is okay because I adapted well to the situation.
Was your 24 points in 31 minutes in the do or die win against Bochum your best game this season?
I think it was because it was the deciding game and I came out really focused and played really well.
If Hanau wins the Pro B will the team treat the big man trio of Josef Eichler, Joleik Schaffarath and Tobias Jahn? Is there are a more solid core of big men in the Pro B?
Yes they should. In my opinion, I think we have the best core of big men in the league. All three guys do a good job playing there role on the team. All three guys also bring something different to the table.
Who will reach the 2015 NCAA final and win it?
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
FURY Brad Pitt is a great actor.
Thanks Cory for the chat.