First Posted: 4/8/2012
A Pennsylvania Sportswriters All-State second team selection in Class 3A topped off a year of achievements for Pittston Area High School girls basketball player Mia Hopkins.
The junior scored her 1,000th career point, and also won the WVC Division I Player of the Year award this season.
"I think this is probably the most exciting because it's a state thing," Hopkins said of being named to the team. "A lot of people get 1,000 points, a lot of people get player of the year, but All-State, that's pretty big."
"I wasn't sure I was going to get it this year, but it was pretty exciting news when I found out. My team was a big part of my success."
Hopkins is the granddaughter of former GAR head coach John Hopkins. Growing up in what she calls a basketball family, Hopkins was exposed to the game early and has been playing as far back as she can remember.
"I think going to my grandpa's games I just grew up around it, and I started to love and have a great passion for the game," said Hopkins, the daughter of Sharon Hopkins.
Hopkins said her grandfather helped her learn the game, and is still offering lessons today.
"He still helps me, he knows the game really well," said Hopkins. He comes to the games, and gives me a lot of pointers and things to help."
Hopkins' combination of passion and knowledge of the game has had a positive impact on the Lady Patriots since her freshman year when she pulled down 29 rebounds in her first game.
"She's definitely been an impact player for the last three years," said head coach Kathy Healey. "As far as this season, she brought the rest of our players up to her level of play."
Averaging 20.3 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks per game, Hopkins helped the Lady Patriots get off to a 12-0 start, and finish with an overall 17-7 record.
The team made it to the District 2 playoffs, where it lost in the first round to Scranton Prep.
"It didn't define our season," said Hopkins of the first-round loss. "I think we could have gone further than we did."
Healey credits Hopkins' ability and leadership for one of the team's best seasons in years and, with one year left in her high school career, Healy is optimistic to see what Hopkins will do during the 2012-13 season.
"I'm expecting great things for her and our team. If she can keep bringing our team up with her, we could have a phenomenal year," said Healey.
Hopkins is equally positive about next season, and while she's happy with the individual accolades she has received, her goals for next year are team oriented.
"We want to get the banner in the gym because no other team ever got it," said Hopkins. "And just winning more games than ever this year, we did good this year, but we want more wins and get further in playoffs than we did."
Hopkins will spend the summer working out at camps and playing in leagues to help make sure that happens.
After high school, she hopes to continue her basketball career in college at a division 1 or 2 school.