Kopatich a nominee for Allstate Good Works Team
LAWRENCE, Kan. – One year ago, sophomore guard Kylee Kopatich left home to begin her college career as a Kansas Jayhawk. Kopatich made an immediate impact on the hardwood for Kansas women’s basketball as a freshman and while navigating the demands of being a student-athlete, found time to continue being active within the community. For all of her contributions to the community, Kopatich is being recognized as a nominee for the 2017 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team, announced Wednesday morning by the WBCA.
For Kopatich, who grew up in Olathe, Kansas, hard work isn’t something reserved just for the basketball court, but all aspects of her life. She gives 110 percent on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Kopatich, a sport management major, has always had a passion for giving back to her community, whether that’s Olathe or Lawrence. Her time getting out into the community has only grown despite her time demands as a Division I basketball player.
In addition to her commitment to school and basketball, Kopatich has also made a commitment to take her tireless work ethic into the local community. As a member of the Kansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the women’s basketball team, Kopatich has become very active in giving back to the community that supports her.
With the Jayhawks, Kopatich has helped out with the annual Crimson and Boo event, which allows Lawrence children to trick-or-treat and show off their costumes at Allen Fieldhouse. She has also participated in the Salvation Army’s bell ringing initiative during finals week. Kopatich and her team had fun while ringing bells by singing holiday songs and choreographing dances to the carols.
Also during the holiday season, Kopatich and her teammates adopted several families through the Salvation Army, buying clothes and presents to make the holidays a little bit brighter for families in need. Kopatich and the Jayhawks take thousands of dollars’ worth of Kansas merchandise to Lawrence Memorial Hospital to spread holiday cheer by handing out KU paraphernalia to patients, staff and hospital volunteers with the Crimson and Blue Project.
Kopatich has also gone out on her own to work with various organizations including the Douglas County Special Olympics, where she volunteers as a soccer coach on Saturday mornings. She’s spent time at the local homeless shelter painting pumpkins and spending time with Lawrence Residents.
Being a part of the Lawrence community and excelling in the classroom haven’t been the only focuses for Kopatich. On the hardwood, she started 30 of 31 games for Kansas last season and averaged the second-most minutes per game (33.0), ranking eighth in the Big 12 Conference. Kopatich averaged 9.5 points per game, good for second on the team and first among returners this year, while shooting 31.6 from the field.
In 2015-16, she notched double-digit scoring performances in 16 games, including a team-best nine-straight contests. Kopatich finished her rookie season with a team-best 171 3-pointers and connected on 45 attempts, tying for the fourth-most treys by a freshman in Kansas women’s basketball history.
In its fifth year, the Allstate WBCA Good Works Teams recognize players at all levels of college basketball who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. From establishing nonprofits that provide youth with the necessary tools to become leaders of tomorrow, to raising awareness around pertinent issues that could save lives, these student-athletes exhibit impeccable leadership skills both on and off the court.
From the nominations, special voting panels, headlined by former Duke University basketball athlete, two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill, and former Notre Dame basketball star, two-time Nancy Lieberman Award winner and current WNBA player Skylar Diggins, will select a 10-member team comprised of five student-athletes from the NCAA Division I level and five student-athletes from Divisions II, III and the NAIA. The final roster of 10 award recipients will be unveiled in February.
Members of the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team will be recognized during the 2017 WBCA Convention and at the 2016 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis, and will also participate in a local volunteer project. Allstate is an official corporate partner of the WBCA and NCAA.
More information about the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team and the Allstate NABC Good Works Team is available at www.wbca.org.
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