Saturday, April 11, 2009
Name: Angel McCoughtry
Born: September 10, 1986
Place of Birth: Baltimore, MD
Height: 6-1 (1.85 m)
Weight: 160 lbs (73 kg)
High Schools: St. Francis High School (Baltimore); the Patterson School (North Carolina)
Baltimore Metro Player of the Year (2003)
Led St. Francis to Catholic League Championship (2004)
WBCA High School Star (2004)
Led Patterson to National Championship (2005)
Big East All-Freshman Team (2006)
Big East Player of the Year (2007)
Gold Medal winner for United States at Pan Am Game s(2007)
All Big East First Team (2007-08)
Nickname: None yet.
Angel McCoughtry was born in Baltimore Maryland, the daughter of Roi and Sharon McCoughtry. Roi was the head pastor at Holy Nation Tabernacle in Baltimore, and Angel got her ball playing genes from Daddy - he was a 6-5 center at Coppin State in his playing days.
Angel's mother Sharon said that Angel was a temperamental child, often driving her mother to tears. She found a way to work off this temperament in basketball, playing against boys in her Northwood neighborhood. She was the star of her high school team, even though Brenda Frese of Maryland felt she was raw in talent and that she was "difficult to like" - McCoughtry already had a reputation for being outspoken. However, Angel had a lot of desire with this temperament. At 16, she pestered her father to play on his men's team at the church. Roi didn't want his daughter to get hurt...but Angel ended up stealing the ball from him and ringing up points.
She decided to play for St. John's, but ran into a problem - academic deficiency. She couldn't post a good SAT score. McCoughtry wanted to move on to junior college, the tried-and-true way out for those with academic difficulties. The problem was her parents wouldn't have it. They sent her to Patterson, a Christian school in North Carolina where she would spend a year working on academics.
McCoughtry hated it at Patterson, comparing the place to a prison where there was no TV and nothing to do. She was forced to buckle down with the books, but her parents had to talk her into staying. Angel stuck it out and led Patterson to a basketball championship. It became time for McCoughtry to enter the recruiting process all over again.
Maryland was a natural choice. The problem was that Maryland would have Marissa Coleman as a freshman and Angel felt they were too similar - indeed, Coleman would be the #2 pick in the 2009 Draft after McCoughtry. Angel didn't want to have to compete with playing time. McCoughtry had taken a visit to Louisville just to get time away from the Patterson campus and she liked the place.
Her first year was a struggle where she had an attitude. She slept during workouts. She mouthed off to referees. She didn't shoot free throws. Tom Collen turned her attitude around by telling her that he didn't want her shooting at all after a bad performance because "You can't shoot!" She was determined to prove him wrong, working on her shooting whenever she could.
Jeff Walz became coach at Louisville after Collen left after McCoughtry's freshman year. This is when he put together the now-famous tape of McCoughtry's slouching, sighing and negative body language whenever her teammates missed a pass from her. McCoughtry was shocked when she saw it. She had never seen what other people had seen. She'll never have a "poker face" - she's too passionate - but she's a lot better at hiding her frustration than before.
Angel plans on writing a fiction book - well, more a roman a clef - called "The Angel Who Wanted to B-more". It's about...oh, a girl growing up in Baltimore who plays basketball and grows up to become a leader. The book is carried around on a flash drive and Angel continues to update it. Here's hoping that one of those chapters of the book is where the main character celebrates a WNBA championship in Atlanta.