Welcome to Her Block Party: Jesheon Cooper’s Record Breaking Season
Jesheon Cooper looks towards the ball at the February 16, 2017 basketball game at Hamilton Fieldhouse in Edmond, Oklahoma. (Elizabeth Roberts/ The Vista).
UCO women’s basketball star Jesheon Cooper had a season for the books. The junior transfer not only set the school record for blocks in a season, she set the mark for the MIAA as well, with 100 rejections.
“It’s a great feeling because the crowd gets involved, my teammates get involved, everyone’s momentum goes up and we all feed of off each other,” Cooper said.
The 6’5″ center made an immediate impact to the Lady Bronchos’ lineup that helped push them above expectations this season.
Cooper is a transfer from Shawnee Community College who just completed her junior season. A season ago, she averaged 12.1 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game and shot better than 60% from the field. She hoped to make an immediate impact on the Broncho’s front court.
“My goal this year was to come in and make a difference to the team and try to help as much as I can with my presence,” Cooper said.
The squad finished with a record of 25-8, with Cooper playing a major role the entire way. Cooper made it clear the paint was hers from the beginning of the season, owning the glass and protecting the rim.
The presence she has on the court was clear from early on. Cooper managed to grab 18 boards in a single game this year, seventh best in school history. She nearly averaged a double-double, putting up 11.2 points per game and averaging 8.5 rebounds per game. The junior played in all 33 games for the Bronchos and shot better than 50% from the field.
Cooper scored 20 points on two separate occasions over the season, against Southwest Baptist and Pittsburg State. She also put up seven double-doubles over the course of the season.
Cooper seemed to pack the stat book in every way a center should. But one statistic really stands out.
Perhaps the most impressive thing Cooper did all season was reject the ball. She obliterated the school record of 55 blocks in a season with 100. She averaged more than 3 blocks per game and managed to put herself 2nd in career blocks at UCO in just one season.
“I didn’t expect to break a school record, but once I found out that I was on the road to break it, the new goal was to break it and make a name for myself,” said Cooper.
In four separate games Cooper sent back six shots. The school record for the most in a game is seven.
Cooper helped push the Bronchos to a second place finish at the MIAA tournament and secure a birth in the NCAA tournament. The Lady Bronchos’ season ended in a quarterfinals defeat at the hands of Pittsburg State. Cooper still has her eyes set forward with one season left at UCO.
“Next year my goal is to be the player of the year, the MIAA player of the year,” said Cooper.
A goal that seems to be well in reach. One thing is for sure, when defenders come in the paint against the Bronchos, Cooper will be waiting for them.