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Coppin State center Rebecca Wilson named MEAC women’s basketball Defensive Player of the Week

Coppin State center Rebecca Wilson was named MEAC women's basketball Defensive Player of the Week.
Coppin State center Rebecca Wilson was named MEAC women's basketball Defensive Player of the Week. (Tim Rice)

Coppin State center Rebecca Wilson was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women’s basketball Defensive Player of the Week for her performance against La Salle.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in Coppin State’s home opener Monday, a 75-49 loss, and also scored six points in the Eagles’ first game in 33 days. It was a joyous occasion for the culmination of the Mount Vernon, New York, native’s hard work.

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“When I won the award, I was screaming and crying at the same time,” Wilson said. “I just couldn’t believe that I won it. I told my coaches the week before we played La Salle that I wanted it. I work on defense so hard. I love defense. The first thing that I knew about basketball was defense — how to rebound, how to defend, it was my passion.”

Wilson immediately called her mother, grandfather and sister after winning the award, thanking God for the opportunity that she’s received. She understood that the opportunity to play could be easily taken away from her with several game cancellations due to COVID-19. The Eagles cancelled games against Mount St. Mary’s, Maryland and UMBC and paused team activities Dec. 2 after a member of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Coppin State's Rebecca Wilson has been named the MEAC Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Week.
Coppin State's Rebecca Wilson has been named the MEAC Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Week. (Tim Rice)

During that time, the players and coaches called each other on Zoom and kept in contact. They held each other accountable for their fitness and they expect to compete this season.

“We haven’t won a MEAC in so long here and I want to win a MEAC championship,” Wilson said. “I want to get to the first round [of the MEAC tournament], the third round, the championship game — I want to see us compete every day to get better. I know that we’re sad because we don’t get to play South Carolina State or Norfolk State, but we get to play the teams in our area that we know and we’re ready to win.”

Coppin State coach Laura Harper sees a great deal of potential in the sophomore, holding high expectations for her ability. Harper answered an email from Wilson before the season in which she reached out to the first-year coach for an opportunity. Once Wilson got her foot in the door at Coppin State, she immediately impressed the former Maryland star.

Wilson’s excitement for the game is the exact type of spark that Harper wants to turn around a program that went 3-26 a season ago.

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“I like the kid,” Harper said. “She says, ‘Coach I’m going to do whatever you need me to do. Whatever it takes.’ The mentality of her as a person — she’s a fighter. The fact that she was willing to do whatever, I knew she’d be great for me personally and that started the relationship with Rebecca and I. Now, Becca has the whole alter ego where she talks to everybody. Every rebound that she grabs, she talks to herself. I love how much of a fighter she is and we’re just so lucky to have her.”

Wilson and the Eagles (0-2) will begin MEAC play against Delaware State (1-2) in back-to-back 12 p.m. matchups on Monday and Tuesday.

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