Sports Person of the Week
Coppola’s Courting Success at Hand
Sophia Coppola’s versatility as a guard is a huge boon to the success of the Hand girls’ basketball squad. (Photo courtesy of Sophia Coppola )
Sophia Coppola is a basketball fanatic. Sophia grew up watching NBA superstar LeBron James on television with her father, started playing the sport when she was in 3rd grade, and has been regular on the court ever since.
Now a rising junior at Daniel Hand High School, Sophia has developed a unique skillset as a member of the Tigers. At 5-foot-10, Sophia uses her height to her advantage while playing the guard position, but she can also handle the ball with the best of them in the Southern Connecticut Conference.
“I like how basketball in fast-paced and gets your adrenaline going. Basketball is a game of teamwork, and I really like that about the sport,” says Sophia. “My favorite moment of this season is when we beat Wilton to get into the quarterfinals for states. The game was really exciting, and it brought us closer to going to Mohegan.”
Hand was trying to get back to Mohegan Sun Arena to play in the Class L state final for the second-straight year when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put a halt to an incredible season for the Tigers. Hand wound up finishing the year with an overall record of 20-4, and Sophia proved a major factor in that success. Head Coach Tim Tredwell says that Sophia is only starting to scratch the surface of her immense talent.
“Sophia is a 5-10 guard who can rebound at the rim and go coast to coast in five dribbles. Her offensive skill and length on defense can cause a ton of problems for our opponents,” Tredwell says. “As a sophomore, Sophia started to show flashes of what she’s capable of and, as she gains strength and confidence, she will be a force in the SCC and the state.”
Sophia credits Coach Tredwell for a lot of the progress that she’s made as a basketball player. Sophia plans to continue working as hard as possible to improve her game and have a nice junior year for the Tigers.
“I have learned so much from Coach Tredwell, and he’s very invested in our team,” Sophia says. “I haven’t met someone as committed to basketball and to our team as Coach Tredwell. He pushes us every day to become better people and better basketball players. He has taught me about leadership and what it means to be a team player.”
Sophia works hard on multiple courts throughout the course of the year. In addition to playing for the Hand girls’ volleyball squad in the fall, Sophia competes on the AAU basketball circuit as a member of the Connecticut Cobras.
“I work out every day to improve my game,” says Sophia, an honors student who earned an achievement of excellence in science at Hand. “I also watch as many games or films I can to learn from experienced players. I also go to many showcases throughout the year to improve my game and play against the best players around.”
Sophia will have more responsibility on her shoulders as a junior following the graduation of superstar point guard Sara Wohlgemuth. However, Sophia is up for the challenge and ready to guide the Tigers on another memorable playoff run in 2021.
“I am super excited. Sara is a tough act to follow. I will do my best to lead the team as well as she did,” Sophia says. “I have been working hard and am ready to lead our team. I can’t wait for the season. We have all been putting in the work, and we are ready to make another run. My expectations for this season are to work together, take it one game at a time, and win the SCC and states.”