The Syracuse women's basketball program continues to recruit at a high level. They signed a nationally ranked 2016 class which features four talented guards. One of them is Gabrielle Cooper out of Morgan Park High School in Illinois.
Cooper is a 5-foot-10 guard ranked as the 25th best player at her position in the cycle. She has a reputation of being a big time scorer, especially from the perimeter. Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman agrees with that assessment.
"Gabby is an explosive scorer with deep range," said Hillsman in a November release. "She is a very tough on-ball defender with the ability to change the game with her speed and quickness. She plays for one of the premier summer club teams in the country, Mac Irvin Fire in Chicago. She has big-game experience that will allow her to play immediately."
Syracuse is losing Brianna Butler and needs an outside shooter to take over that role. Cooper has the ability to do that.
She has been committed to the Orange for some time and cited strong relationships as a big reason for her decision. She signed her letter of intent in November.
"I picked Syracuse because I have a great connection with the coaching staff," Cooper said. "I also know that I will be able to gain a great education while playing for an amazing team. Syracuse was the best fit for me because of the system coach Quentin plays.
"He plays a very aggressive defense, which I am used to coming from my AAU team (Mac Irvin Fire). Not to mention I'm a shooter and coach Q has a very high shooting offense."
In addition, Cooper calls herself a long defender who plays with a lot of heart and is very competitive. Those attributes will serve her well as she helps frustrate opponents in Syracuse's vaunted full-court pressure defense.
Cooper was watching Syracuse this season and took note of the historic run they made in the NCAA Tournament. With recruiting continuing to add talent to the program, with players such as herself, the future is very bring for the Orange women.
"Yes I believe the sky is the limit now," she said. "Syracuse has proven it can compete with the top schools in the country. Now we have proven that we are one of the best and can beat the best."
The Chicago native will look to help Syracuse build on their National Championship game appearance when she arrives this summer. Given coach Q's comments, don't be surprised if you see her on the court this season.
Off the court, Cooper enjoys skating and bowling. She likes to read and cook as well. Her favorite musicians include R. Kelly, Lauryn Hill, Lyfe Jennings, King Louie and Lil Herb. Her favorite foods include seafood and baked potatoes.