From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Cooper, Camille

Camille Cooper was born on February 5, 1979, to Priscilla and Charles Cooper of Georgetown Kentucky. She was the youngest of three children [source: “42 Camille Cooper”].

In high school, Camille Cooper played basketball for Scott County High School (Georgetown, Kentucky) under the coaching of Wayne Atkins. She was a dynamic powerhouse on the court, helped the team win a state championship as a sophomore in 1995 alongside Ukari Figgs, and was selected to be a Kentucky All-Star and region Most Valuable Player as she averaged 28.1 points, 12.0 rebounds and six blocked shots per game while also shooting 70 percent from the floor during her senior year. She was just as formidable off the court where she graduated with a 4.2-grade point average and was a recipient of Principal's Award as the top student-athlete in her graduating class [source: edited by G. L. Smith, K. Cotton McDaniel and J. A. Hardin, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, "Figgs, Ukari Okien"; and “42 Camille Cooper”].

In addition, she was nationally ranked at number 77 according to the Blue Star Index in her senior year. She would set the school record for most points scored in a game with 50 points earned during two games [source:”42 Camille Cooper”].

Cooper played basketball in college for Purdue University's Boilermakers women's basketball (1997-2001) while majoring in political science. Her career there would be just as impressive as it had been in high school. During her first year, she shot 59.6 percent from the field which in 2018 ranked as tied for seventh on the school season list. As a sophomore, Cooper was named to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-tournament team and received honorable mention All-Big Ten. In addition, she played for the silver medal-winning 1999 USA Women’s World University Game team where she averaged 11.6 points and 4.2 rebounds across five games [“42 Camille Cooper”] Her senior class set a school record for most wins with 111 (broken the following year), twice played in the NCAA Championship game, won three straight Big Ten Tournament titles, and captured two conference regular-season titles [source: L. Watts “An Intimidating Presence”].

In the 2001 draft, Cooper was chosen number 16 in round 1 by the Los Angeles Sparks [source: L. Watts “An Intimidating Presence”]. Cooper played for the New York Liberty during the 2001-2002 season. After retiring from the New York Liberty team in 2002 due to a back injury Camille went on to attend and graduate from Duke Law School where she met her now husband Dr. Donald Ozumba [source: R.Alves, “From Humble Beginnings”]. In 2010, she was transitioning from a law firm that focused on national labor and employment to working as an independent contractor in order to have more flexibility to help with her husband’s sports medicine and orthopedic practice and raising their son, according to a feature story by Larry Watts of the Big Ten Conference. In 2016, Camille Cooper was inducted into Scott County’s hall of fame alongside Rebecca Gray and the 2010 Lady Cardinals basketball team [source: R. Alves, “From Humble Beginnings”].

This entry was written by Angelica Miller.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Scott County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Georgetown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Figgs, Ukari O.

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“Cooper, Camille ,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed December 11, 2018, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/300003754.

Last modified: 2018-11-12 16:25:02