sulogoSandy Pugh inks 5-8 Brooklyn, NY guard Essence Hopkins, to NLI

The Southern University Women’s Basketball Office is proud to announce the signing of Essense Hopkins of Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, NY to a national letter of intent.

Hopkins, a 5-8 shooting guard, averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game as a senior. As a junior, she averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

She also had interest from Saint Peter’s, Hartford and Rhode Island.

Lafayette cruised through the playoffs and beat division rival Goldstein in the PSAL Class B championship game, avenging its lone regular season loss. Hopkins, who was clearly the best `B’ player in the city all season, carried the Patriots with 31 points and 10 rebounds.

Since the formation of the three-tier PSAL (Public School Athletic League) girls’ basketball system, there haven’t been many girls from the `B’ league garnering Division I scholarships.

Lafayette lost in the New York State Federation Class B semifinals in Glens Falls to Long Island Lutheran, 66-63, but Hopkins was again a dynamo in that game. She finished with 28 points.

“She did everything in her power to try to make us win,” Lafayette coach Kareem Benson said afterward. “Her will is unbelievable.”

“Essence will be a strong addition to our team”, says head Coach Sandy Pugh. “She is a great slasher with the ability to finish in traffic. She will definitely fill the void in our offense left by Diedre Jackson.”

Southern finished the 2008-09 season with a 16-14 overall record, 11-7 in SWAC play. SU was defeated in the SWAC Tournament Championship game to Prairie View A&M, 49-74.

The Jags earned a trip to the WNIT postseason tournament, where they fell to the University of New Mexico, 44-72.


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