The coach she could no longer play for and the coach she could possibly play for helped Hayley Kropp determine her college basketball future.
After one season at Guilford Technical Community College, Kropp has decided to transfer to Coker College, signing her paperwork earlier this week to join the Cobras program.
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In her one season at GTCC, Kropp helped lead the Titans to a seventh-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament. An all-region first-team selection, Kropp averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game and finished in the top 20 nationally in 3-pointers, 3-point percentage and steals.
Kropp had always planned to continue her basketball career beyond GTCC, but the decision of Titans head coach Bobby Allison to retire at season’s end accelerated the process. She talked with Pembroke State and University of Northwestern Ohio before settling on Coker.
As a Cobra, Kropp will play for head coach Shannon Johnson, a former Olympic gold medalist and seven-time WNBA All-Star. Johnson was an All-American at South Carolina and also played professionally overseas in addition to her WNBA career.
“Some people said I should stay at Guilford Tech one more year and go to a Division I school, but I get the chance to get coached by a great coach,” Kropp said. “She’s played in the WNBA, she’s won gold medals, she’s a great coach.
“I like the family feel at Coker. I just clicked with the people there and with the team. But the coach, she is amazing, and that won the argument.”
Kropp will be the second Polk County athlete at Coker, joining former standout Kara Overholt, who will be a rising junior in the Coker volleyball program. She hopes to major in physical education with the goal of becoming a teacher and coach.
A member of the Division II South Atlantic Conference, Coker finished 6-21 last season. The Cobras will return their top eight scorers from last season’s team.