Rutgers Women's Basketball vs. Monmouth
Photo Credit: Nicole Mehl

Rutgers Alum Kahleah Copper Helps Elevate Scarlet Knights Program

Former Rutgers Scarlet Knight women’s basketball star and three-time WNBA All-Star Kahleah Copper has officially joined the 2023-24 coaching staff. The official announcement was released on Monday, however many have suspected this would happen sooner or later. Rutgers Head Coach Coquese Washington has attempted to transition this program within just one season and continues to make substantial progress. Washington’s impact on the program is gaining recognition, so much so that the Knights landed a big-time recruit, Lisa Thompson. This news only cements her mission and helps further the program.

"Having Kahleah Copper join our program is a truly amazing opportunity for us," Washington said. "Kahleah is an unquestioned winner and one of the best players in the world. Bringing her championship knowledge and experience to our gym on a daily basis is something our players are eager to soak up. Kahleah absolutely loves Rutgers, and we can't wait to have her back On the Banks helping to elevate this program to national prominence. It's exciting to imagine all the ways Kahleah will positively impact our program." 

What’s Kahleah Copper's Role?

Copper played for Rutgers from 2012 to 2016, and was picked No.7 overall in the 2016 WNBA draft. She’s since gone on to become a WNBA Champion, specifically the WNBA Finals MVP, and has proven to be one of the league's most dynamic and electric players. She’ll serve as the Director of Athletic Culture and Professional Development with a focus on developing student-athletes. Her focus will be to aid in recruiting efforts, alumni events, fundraising, and community outreach opportunities. As an eight-year veteran of the WNBA, she’ll also assist with on-court activities and workouts. 

"My blood runs Scarlet, and I can't wait to be back home on campus helping this program that is so important to me," Copper said. "I'm grateful to Rutgers and the coaching staff for entrusting me with this responsibility, and I will pour everything I have into our players and lean in on everything that I have learned in my career to help them reach their highest level both on and off the court." 

In her career, Copper has experienced adversity and has been forced to prove resiliency and develop into the star everyone knows her to be. Originally, she was drafted to the Washington Mystics where she wasn’t used much throughout the system. Copper was traded to the Chicago Sky and since then, her career has taken off. This type of knowledge and understanding is priceless and can be utilized on this youthful Scarlet Knights team.

Kahleah Copper's Career at Rutgers

Prior to her WNBA career, Copper was a standout for Rutgers being a starter all four seasons under legendary head coach C. Vivian Stringer. Ultimately, she finished her collegiate career third on Rutgers' all-time scoring list with 1,872 career points. Only Sue Wicks and Cappie Pondexter ranked higher at the time. She led the Scarlet Knights in scoring during her final three seasons. In 2014, she led the Scarlet Knights to a WNIT Championship and was named the MVP of the tournament as a sophomore. Naturally, this earned her respect amongst the coaches and media around the NCAA.