Copeland Makes The Grade

Michael Copeland's parents moved the family from Mobile, Ala. after his sophomore season because he wasn't getting the playing time and interest they thought he deserved. Two years later, it appears he's going to become a member of the North Carolina basketball team.

The 6-foot-7 ½, 235-pound Winston-Salem Reynolds (N.C.) High forward found out the news that he received a pair of A's on his final two classes that determined whether or not he would qualify to play at UNC.

"I was on my way to my girlfriend's house yesterday and was getting depressed that I hadn't heard about my grades," Copeland said. "My dad called me and told me the grades came in and I got two A's."

"My dad called Coach (Joe) Holladay and we're going to fax them the info tomorrow and I'm going to sign Tuesday," Copeland said. "My prayers were answered."

"It's a done deal," added Copeland's mother, Carolyn. "We talked to Coach Holladay today and told him the news. All we're waiting is for them to say when. We're going to FedEx the grades to them tomorrow. By Wednesday or Thursday, they want him on campus."

"It's a definite go," she added.

Copeland, who averaged 17.8 points and 9.1 rebounds as a senior at Reynolds, said he is slated to attend orientation on Thursday.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I know people aren't expecting much of me, but I'm going to come in and be a big player for Carolina. I'm going to turn some heads. They may not expect that much of me, but I'm going to get in there, rebound and block some shots."

"This is a great day," Copeland continued.

Copeland spent most of his early years in Richmond, Va., before his family moved to Mobile, where his mother grew up. Then, after Copeland became disenchanted after two seasons of high school basketball in Alabama, his parents decided that a move to Reynolds High was in the best interest of their son.

"Alabama is a football state," Copeland said. "I thought I should have been getting more playing time and I wasn't, so we left to come down here where my dad's from - and it was the best thing for me."

"He was having a hard time in Mobile," Carolyn Copeland added. "We tried two high schools, but it was hard for him. He wasn't getting any run and it's a football state."

The move to North Carolina appears to have paid off for Copeland and his family. While most fans aren't familiar with his game, Inside Carolina spoke to one ACC player about Copeland.

"I think he can be a good rebounder for Carolina," the player said. "He can get a couple of putbacks and baskets. He's got a pretty good feel for the game. North Carolina can use a guy like him - a guy who comes in and plays a role. He's got good post moves, is real strong - but has a tendency to shoot a lot of jump shots outside of his range."

Copeland earned Player of the Year honors for the Central Piedmont 4A Conference his senior season, and was selected to the All-Northwest N.C. team. He was named to the All-State Second Team by two separate outlets - the Associated Press and

For more on Mike Copeland, including video clips, photos, analysis and previous articles, check out IC's Michael Copeland Profile

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