Mitchell County hoops star Cooper had choices -- but in the end, chose Albany St.

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Kedeemya Cooper helped lead the Mitchell County girls basketball team deeper in the GHSA girls state playoffs than any other team.

And now, she hopes to do the same at Albany State.

The 5-foot-9 Cooper signed with the Lady Rams last week in Camilla, giving coach Robert Skinner's 10-19 team this past season some needed help at guard.

"I'm not going to bring anyone in this year that I don't think can help us right away," Skinner said. "And I believe she can make an immediate difference."

Cooper has experience feeding the ball, pulling down boards, scoring at will and picking the pockets of opponents. She averaged 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and two steals last season as she and fellow Lady Eagle star Tiona Burley, who has signed with Division I UNCC, led Mitchell to the Class AA Elite 8.

Cooper was on the way out of town for a senior grad night trip when The Herald caught up with her this week, and said she's glad to have the weight of the decision off her shoulders after she was being recruited by schools as far away as St. Paul (Minn.) and as close as Alabama Southern and Albany Tech.

"ASU is a four-year school and I really wanted to follow in the footsteps of my coach," said Cooper of Mitchell coach and former Lady Rams star Rosemary Sanders. "Plus, coach Skinner told me the goal is to get back and win a championship (after last year) -- and I like winning championships."

Sanders added that while Burley was the straw that stirred the Lady Eagles' drink this season, without Cooper none of their success would've been possible.

"No way," said Sanders when asked if Mitchell could've gone as far as they did without Cooper. "She's my ball handler and we would've made it through a single press without her. I'm glad she chose Albany State. I think she'll be real successful there just like she was here."