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Former Raiders star heading to Australia by way of Fairborn

Despite graduating in 2010, Cory Cooperwood still considers himself a part of the Wright State men’s basketball team. And vice versa.

Cooperwood has been spending a lot of time around the Raiders the last few weeks as he gets ready to head overseas to play for the Stirling Senators in the Australia-State League.

“It’s great because it gives me the opportunity to get in conditioning shape and play basketball with some guys that know the game,” said Cooperwood, who lives in Kensett, Ark. “Plus it’s just great to see old friends and be around campus.”

The 6-foot-7 Cooperwood, who led WSU in rebounding his junior and senior seasons, averaged 24.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last year while playing a half season with Senators.

His presence at WSU practice is always welcomed by coach Billy Donlon.

“His effort level, his motor is off the charts,” Donlon said. “It always has been. His motor to compete is probably as good as anybody I’ve ever coached. You hope the guys see that.”

Cooperwood left WSU before any of the current players arrived, but he’s made friends quickly and said he’s always willing to help answer any questions or work on technique whenever asked. In return strength and conditioning coach Jason Bradford has designed some workouts for Cooperwood to get ready for the season as well as some routines to maintain once the season begins in Perth, Australia.

“We are a program that’s a family,” Donlon said. “It’s always good to have guys come back.”

This will be Cooperwood’s third season playing in Australia, and second with the Senators. He also played a season in Finland and has been on numerous touring outfits with Athletes in Action.

“It’s been exciting to see the world just by being able to throw a basketball through the hoop,” he said.

He will remain in town and around the WSU program until Feb. 16 when he leaves for Australia for the beginning of the season.

Harrison honored: Wright State senior Maria Harrison won her second Horizon League Female Field Athlete of the Week award Tuesday.

The Troy High School graduate set a school record with a throw of 13.05 meters in the shot put to finish second among 26 competitors at the Greyhound Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday. Harrison also took fourth in the weight throw (14.80 meters) to lead the Raiders to a third-place finish in the 15-team field.

Courtney Ballard took first place in the pole vault (3.30 meters), while Vanessa Hopwood, Alexandra Brown, Jessica Doepker and Rachel Janson took third in the distance medley relay (13 minutes, 18.73 seconds).

Women’s basketball: Mike Bradbury’s team is entering a crucial stretch of the Horizon League season as the second-place Raiders will face third-place Illinois-Chicago on the road Saturday before playing host to first-place Youngstown State on Wednesday with a rare noon start as part of the Education and Hoops Day program.

WSU is coming off a a tough 69-67 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday that dropped the team two games behind Youngstown State.

The Raiders (15-6 overall, 4-2 HL) have not lost back-to-back games all year.

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