High schools: Shawnee star Taylor Cooper will stick with commitment to ORU

Basketball standout's wish came true when Misti Cussen was named to replace Jerry Finkbeiner as Golden Eagles' head coach.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 29, 2012

SHAWNEE — Taylor Cooper is sticking with Oral Roberts after all.

Cooper, who signed with the Golden Eagles in November, was beginning to rethink her commitment to the school after women's basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner left to take the Utah State job last week.

The Shawnee senior, who helped lead the Wolves to an unbeaten season and the Class 5A state championship in March, picked the Golden Eagles over offers from bigger schools.

Oral Roberts won 20 games for the third straight season in 2011-12, and with players such as former Adair star Kevi Luper returning — and Jenni Bryan transferring in from Oklahoma State — the future looked bright for the program.

But if Cooper would have decided to ask for a release from her letter of intent, it could have been a big blow to ORU.

That's why ORU assistant Misti Cussen drove to Shawnee on Wednesday to persuade Cooper to hang with the Golden Eagles. Cooper and Cussen have developed a close relationship throughout the recruiting process.

Cussen spent three hours in the Cooper home, essentially re-recruiting her, but the 5-foot-11 Cooper made clear what it would take for her to stick around.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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