Top 2015 prospect Te’a Cooper (McEachern High/ Powder Springs, Ga.) verbally committed to the Tennessee Lady Vols on June 5. The No. 12-rated prospect by ESPN HoopGurlz in the class opened up her recruitment in September after de-committing from North Carolina.
Cooper, who was named the state’s Miss Basketball in March by the Georgia Sports Writers Association, is the second player from the 2015 class to commit to Tennessee. She averaged 19.6 points, 5.8 asists and 4.4 steals a game and led McEachern to a State title. MeMe Jackson, a 5-11 wing from Blackman High (Murfreesboro, Tennessee), had previously committed to the Lady Vols.
Cooper chose Tennessee over North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.
“I chose Tennessee because I just feel like they were everything I was looking for,” Cooper said. “Through the coaching staff, through the team, through the university, the educational part all over to what I wanted to major in, I just felt like it was the team for me.”
Cooper will play for Team USA this summer as she was one of 12 players selected last month for theU17 world championship team that will compete in the FIBA U17 World Championship from June 28-July 6 in the Czech Republic. Training camp opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado, next Thursday. The team leaves for France on June 18 for exhibition play that starts June 20.
Cooper's longtime friend and AAU teammate, Diamond DeShields, attended Cooper's announcement ceremony as did a MTV video production crew that has been following Cooper since November. She will be part of an upcoming episode of the network’s longtime “True Life” series, based on the recruiting process.
The episode is scheduled to air this summer.
DeShields, who led North Carolina to the Elite Eight as a freshman, is still pondering where she will attend next year after receiving her unconditional release. However, DeShields( @DDeShields23) took to twitter about speculation that she would join Cooper at Tennessee.
“Te'a Cooper is committing on Thursday NOT ME. Just to clear that whole thing up.”