Kupets signs with Pirates’ hoops

Published 5:47 am Friday, June 20, 2008

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE — East Carolina University basketball coach Mack McCarthy announced that Chris Kupets has signed a scholarship to attend ECU and play basketball beginning in the fall.
Kupets (5-11, 175) attended one year of prep school at The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C. Patterson was the No. 1-ranked prep school team in the nation for the majority of the 2007-08 season. His Patterson team featured seven additional players that earned Division I scholarships, including Courtney Fortson (Arkansas), Nate Miles (Connecticut), Matt Simpkins (Memphis) and Varez Ward (Texas).
“Chris is a nice addition to this spring class,” said McCarthy. “Again, we’ve addressed a weakness of having enough folks who can shoot the basketball. He’s a small, but athletic, combo guard who competed daily against a high level of competition last season at Patterson.”
Prior to his post-grad year at Patterson, Kupets led Cedar Shoals High School (Athens, Ga.) to the Region 8-AAAA title, a second round state playoff appearance and an overall record of 27-2 as a senior, while he averaging 25.3 points and six assists per game.
His efforts earned him the Athens Banner-Herald Northeast Georgia Player-of-the-Year honors as well as a spot on the all-state first team for a second consecutive season.
“It came down to ECU and Houston. I’m really excited about the opportunity to come in and compete for a starting job,” said Kupets. “Everything just clicked when I visited. I really liked the campus and the guys on the team. They have signed some pretty good players and I feel like with the guys there and those coming in, we’re going to be very competitive.”
Kupets scored 1,374 points in two seasons at Cedar Shoals and finished sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list, helping the Jaguars to a 52-7 record and two regional championships.
“He is a point guard with a coach’s mentality that can really shoot,” said retired Cedar Shoals coach Ron Link. “His work ethic is at the top of the scale. I’ve never coached a player that worked any harder or had more game knowledge than Chris.”
His sisters, Ashley and Courtney, are both renowned gymnasts. Ashley was a five-time All-America selection at the University of Georgia and a member of three national championship teams. Courtney, a rising senior at UGA, has been a member of three national championship teams and won a pair of all-round individual titles. She was also a member of the 2004 United States Women’s Gymnastics team that captured the silver medal, while earning an individual bronze medal.
Kupets is the third prep player to sign with the Pirates during the late signing period, joining Darrius Morrow (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Turner (Durham, N.C.) to make up the freshman class of 2009.