Kahleah Copper


As a junior last season, Kahleah Copper was named Second Team All-Big Ten and led the Scarlet Knights in scoring for the second straight season.

Nick Romanenko

Kahleah Copper spent the summer working hard on her game, and it could lead to some interesting twists in the final chapter of her memorable Rutgers basketball career. Yes, it might be tough to top a junior season in which she was named Second Team All-Big Ten and led the Scarlet Knights in scoring for the second straight season at 16.3 points a game. But Copper feels there’s much more she, and the team, can accomplish.

“For our first year in the Big Ten, we held our own,” says Copper, a 6-1 forward and guard who went over 1,000 points in her Scarlet Knights career last year. “We showed the Big Ten what we can do. Personally, I could have done better. I played well; I’m just looking to improve this year.” 

Known for being a slashing, penetrating player with a quick first step and a knack for getting to the free throw line, Copper wants to improve her ball handling and her perimeter game, especially her 3-point shooting. It’s a combination that would make her virtually impossible to guard. And, with her senior year upon her, she looks forward to being more of a leader, given the team’s crop of first-year players.

“They’ve really been impressive,” says Copper, referring to Desiree Keeling, Aliyah Jeune, Victoria Harris, and Khadaizha Sanders, who join Copper and returning seniors Briyona Canty, Rachel Hollivay, and Ariel Butts.

It could all add up to big things for head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s squad, which last year had a record of 23-10, posted a 12-6 mark in its inaugural Big Ten season, and made its 24th NCAA Tournament appearance before falling to top-seeded UConn in the second round. “I want to take my team farther than we went last year,” says Copper, who  grew up and still lives in Philadelphia. “I want to play for a national championship.”

One of two Scarlet Knights named to the Big Ten Academic All-Conference team, Copper, a criminal justice major, has her eye on a career in the WNBA, following former Rutgers stars Essence Carson RC’08, Epiphanny Prince RC’10, Cappie Pondexter RC’06, Betnijah Laney SAS’05, Matee Ajavon RC’08, Erica Wheeler SAS’13, and Kia Vaughn RC’09.

“I’m hoping we can win it all,” says Copper. “We’re just trying to win the championship.”