2013 Intro: Eric Cooper

Despite battling some knee problems, Eric Cooper Jr. is having a solid season and his college interest continues to pick up.

Eric Cooper Jr. didn't waste any time hitting the high school scene.

As an 8th grader he played up in the Belmont Shore program and grabbed attention from college coaches and evaluators right away.

Now is in the middle of his freshman season, Cooper Jr. is battling a type of Osgood-Schlatter disease, while attempting to play. Cooper Jr., who has taken a few games off, is averaging 7.5 points and just over three assists a game for La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran.

"Lately we shut him down and have let him rest a little bit," Lutheran coach and Cooper's father, Eric, said.

When Cooper Jr. has played this season, he hasn't been a disappointment.

"The thing that will have you shocked is his poise at the one," Cooper Sr. said. "Not too many kids can run the one on the highest level when there are coaches in the stands and a high profile game. He can actually do it."

"He makes the right pass, he makes the right shots and he plays like a veteran," he added. "He doesn't have any fear. He can handle with his left or right. He can finish with his left or right and he can shoot it. He's a good defender and he's long."

It's not surprise that college coaches have taken notice of Cooper Jr. Arizona, UNLV, San Diego and USC have already offered, while Washington, UCLA, Texas, Baylor, Stanford and California have made it clear they are interested.

"His recruitment has been very similar to Grant Jerrett's," Cooper Sr. said. "They kind of treat them like twins. They call and ask about both and [most schools] have offered both."

Despite the attention, Cooper Jr., who has taken a handful of unofficial visits to UCLA and USC, won't be making his college choice anytime soon.

"I asked him a long time ago if he had thought about committing to a school early," Cooper Sr. said. "He said ‘no.' He wants to go through the whole process. He's probably going to a committing November of his senior year."


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