Local hoops standout Eric Cooper, Jr.—who won a pair of state titles at La Verne Lutheran and played most recently at St. Anthony High in Long Beach—committed to the University of Nevada over the weekend. Cooper was a long-time Arizona commit, but reopened his recruitment in April and ultimately decided on the Wolfpack.

“I talked to Coach (David Carter) on my visit and he laid out a plan for me,” Cooper, Jr. said. “I felt like it was the right plan for me and I think they are going to do some good things in the next few years with me there.”

Cooper is coming off a tumultuous 18 months basketball-wise. After his junior season at Lutheran, his father (and head coach Eric Cooper, Sr.) accepted the head coaching job at St. Anthony. Before he could even get to his senior year, Cooper, Jr. was forced to take a few months off to deal with injuries during the offseason. Once the season got underway, he was then required by CIF to sit out for 30 days under the new transfer rules.

After playing just 15 games his senior year, Cooper, Jr. decided to re-classify to the Class of 2014, and planned to attend a prep school in New Hampshire. That’s when Cooper announced that he was opening up his recruitment while still maintaining interest in Arizona. Ultimately, he ended up in Bradenton, Florida where he is currently attending the IMG Academy. With how tumultuous the road has been, it’s understandable that Cooper, Jr. is happy to have the recruiting process over and to focus on playing the game he loves.

“I’m excited. To know where I’m going and what I need to work on, I’m very excited.”

Cooper, Jr. also stated that he enjoyed the school’s campus and location during his trip to Reno and that he was happy to get the chance to play in the challenging Mountain West Conference. He plans to get to Nevada as soon as possible following his year at IMG to attend summer workouts and get ready for the 2014-15 season.

Sports Guy Mike Guardabascio has been writing professionally for a decade, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards and is the author of the historical book "Football in Long Beach."

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