HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — If you see news about Gettysburg guard Quadir Copeland, you’ll most likely see him referred to as a ‘sleeper.’
His latest accomplishments are seen as unexpected in the eyes of many. Copeland has seen it coming for a long time.
Last week, the rising senior picked up an offer from Penn State, his first Power Five offer.
“I’ve been building a connection with Coach [Pat] Chambers,” Copeland said. “He said I’ve been working hard, he loved my film.”
The film is key for Copeland — when you watch him, it’s not hard to see a future star — but it’s about getting exposure from a small town like Gettysburg.
At the same time, the Philadelphia native’s transfer to Gettysburg Area High School before his freshman season helped mold his mindset.
“I just knew that if I kept working hard in practice with my team, I knew that good things would come,” he said.
‘Good things’ began coming his way last summer, when he picked up his first division one offer from LaSalle University.
“The eyes were on me then, so I had to show up and show out,” he said.
He responded by dazzling in his junior campaign, leading his Warriors squad to a perfect 22-0 regular season record, averaging 22.1 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists per contest. His play garnered all-state honors and he was named Mr. Pennsylvania Basketball’s Underclassman of the Year. He also received another division one offer from Siena College.
This summer was supposed to be his biggest chance yet to shake off the ‘sleeper’ moniker. He was chosen to play on Nike’s elite EYBL circuit for “Team Final” out of Pennsylvania. The team has helped develop numerous NBA players.
“This was supposed to be my time to showcase my talent but the opportunity was taken away because of COVID-19,” Copeland said. “I’ve been trying my best to just stay active and stay in the gym.”
Copeland said he hopes to get another call from Team Final next summer. In the meantime, he’s doing what he’s always done — working without the exposure. He’s been working out around the Philly area this summer and playing ball with some of the city’s fellow top prospects.
His high school future hasn’t been decided. Like fellow local hoops star Chance Westry, Copeland is assessing his options at prep schools. It’s a path that many top-tier talents take, but there’s a chance Copeland returns to compete with the Warriors. The 6’5 all-around ball handler wants a state title, and he wants to see another Mr. Pennsylvania Basketball award.
“I don’t want to just be Underclassman of the Year,” he said. “I want to be the Mr. Pennsylvania of all of the classes. I use that as motivation to make me work even harder.”
Motivation is a pillar of his success, much like many of the great talents to hail from the Keystone State. But motivation comes from different sources, and only a slice of these success stories are considered ‘sleepers.’
“A lot of people sleep on me and people say I’m an underdog, but I’m a patient person and I know my time will come.”
While the 16 year-old continues to build off of his first major D-I offer, the buzz remains soft but, whether in Central Pennsylvania or beyond, Copeland knows Pat Chambers won’t be the only one with his eyes open.
“I know more offers will come, it’s just a matter of time.”