December 5, 2012

Spartans Ink Atlanta Area Standout to NLI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Beall,
 dbeall@uscupstate.edu

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball program received a signed National Letter of Intent from high school standout Bakari Copeland last week during the NCAA's early signing period, as announced by Head Coach Eddie Payne.

Copeland, a 6-foot-6 senior from Arabia Mountain High School in Decatur, Ga., is averaging 28.0 points per game during his final prep season and leads the Rams under Head Coach Deon Daniel.

"This is the type of player and person we are looking to add to our program and he will be a great fit for us," Payne said of the signing. "We look forward to having him represent our university be a part of our family here at Upstate."

Coming off a junior season that saw the standout earn 5AAA First-Team All-Region honors, Copeland averaged 14.1 points per game to rank seventh in the county.

"I like the campus a lot. And the coaches and players are really cool," Copeland told Future150.com following his commitment. "I also feel that they will produce a great future for me after college basketball."

He was named Arabia Mountain High School Most Valuable Player as a junior and earned DeKalb County Tip-Off Player of the Month honors. He also appeared on the DeKalb All-County team last season.

The standout played AAU for the Kingdom Elite Georgia 17U squad as a junior for Head Coach Anthony Hardnett.

Copeland becomes the first student-athlete from Arabia Mountain High School to receive a basketball scholarship to a Division I institution.

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Pictured below: Top row left to right: Coach Perry (Asst. AAU Coach - Atlanta Select), Coach Copeland, his father (Head AAU Coach - Atlanta Select), Coach Zeigler (COO of Atlanta Select), bottom row left to right: Coach Daniel (Head Coach Arabia Mtn HS), Signee Bakari Copeland, and Coach Browner (Asst. coach - Arabia Mtn. HS).

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