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CHS Alumna Named MEAC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year

harper graphic(March 22, 2022) The most decorated basketball player in Cheltenham High School History, Laura Harper (CHS ’04) was recently named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in just her second season at the helm of the Coppin State Eagles Women’s Basketball team.

Behind Harper’s leadership, the Eagles finished 15-12 overall and 9-5 in the league, including a six-game league winning streak, and earned a No. 4 seed in the league tournament. This campaign was the program’s first winning season since 2013-14 and its first season with a winning league record since 2015-16. The Eagles boasted non-conference wins against La Salle, William & Mary, Saint Francis (Pa.), Marshall, Saint Peter’s and Winthrop. Coppin also claimed the MEAC player of the year, two all-league nods, and spots on the all-defensive and rookie teams.

The 2006 Women’s NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player for the champion Maryland Terrapins, Harper was No. 10 pick in the 2008 Women’s National Basketball Association draft. She played professionally for the Sacramento Monarchs and overseas in Turkey, Italy and Russia, and has held assistant and head coaching positions at a number of schools. 

As a Panther, Harper played for teams which won two District 1 championships and qualified for states four times. She scored a school-record (boys or girls) 2,009 points and hauled down 1,403 rebounds, and earned honors ranging from McDonald’s and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American to Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year.