Freshman year 2013-2014

NCAA Womens Basketball: Monmouth-NJ at Connecticut

Nov. 23, 2013

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Former PA star getting feet wet in Division 1

Last updated: January 11. 2014 2:50PM - 2537 Views

Hopkins making a splash at Monmouth

She was the first of her kind. But Mia Hopkins’ journey has just begun.

It’s been a journey that has seen the rigors of Division 1 women’s basketball. But it’s also been a journey that has led the former Patriot to realize her dreams.

Hopkins graduated from Pittston Area in 2012 and has already made an impact on the Monmouth University women’s basketball team.

Mia became the first Division I scholarship player from Pittston Area girls basketball. She scored over 1,500 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in her high school varsity career. While at Pittston Area, she averaged 20 points per game, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Those numbers got her on the right track to a Division 1 school.

The 5-10 guard is now playing at the Division 1 level. And with that comes the rigors of playing at college basketball’s upper echelon of competitiveness.

Playing at the Division 1 level is like nothing else, Hopkins said. Her first full taste of that came when the Hawks played perennial powerhouse No. 1-ranked Connecticut in late November. Hopkins played 14 minutes in a game Monmouth lost 100-46.

“That was a dream come true,” Hopkins said. “That was the biggest moment of my life. It was an honor to play them on their court. I can say that for the rest of my life.”

During another tournament earlier in the season, Hopkins had a chance to meet and talk with legendary Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.

“He knew who I was,” she said. “To have Geno tell you to keep going, it’s inspiring.”

Through 16 games, Hopkins is averaging around 10 minutes per game, and 2.5 points. She played a season-high 19 minutes against Rider on Jan. 5. She is shooting 42 percent from the field and is averaging close to three rebounds per contest.

Monmouth picked up its second win in its last three games on Friday - a 64-56 win over Canisius. That moves the Hawks to 2-3 in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and 3-13 overall. Both conference wins have came in the last week of play.

The Hawks beat Fairfield on Jan. 3. for their second win of the season, and first in MAAC play.

“We’ve been practicing a lot lately,” Hopkins said. “We literally had no winter break at all.

That was tough for Hopkins. But with a young team, sometimes that’s the best medicine after a rocky start to the season.

Monmouth is young, and frankly, they are tired of losing.

“We’re sick of losing and we’re a young team,” she said. “We have great chemistry. No one ever gets down, even when we were losing. We still finished strong and encouraged each other.”

Mia posted one of her best outings in her first Division 1 game, against Yale. The Hawks took a loss, but Hopkins pulled down nine rebounds and poured in seven points. In the Hawks’ first win of the season, Hopkins shined again.

Monmouth opened the 2013-14 campaign with seven-straight losses before beating Maryland-Eastern Shore. That was another big game thus far as a freshman. In 14 minutes, Mia scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting. She also handed out four assists.

Connecticut was Monmouth’s only ranked opponent it has played thus far this season. But it was a big one.

Mia has always had that big-game mentality. While at Pittston Area, she showed the ability to post a huge game, scoring 39 points as a junior against Holy Redeemer, while also pulling down 29 rebounds in her first game as a freshman.

But it doesn’t come as easily when playing against the best student-athletes in the country.

“It was a huge difference,” she said of the transition from high school to college. “I went to a couple high school games over the break and it’s so much different. The college game is so much faster. We lift all the time and condition all the time.”

Hopkins went on to add it’s like going from the fastest and strongest player to now everyone is just as fast, and just as strong.

Hopkins in the daughter of Sharon Hopkins, Pittston. In four years, the first-year Hawk hopes her career in basketball isn’t over. Even when she graduates, she hopes to play ball somewhere. When she finally does give up playing competitively, she’ll still be in the game.

She said she’s like to become a basketball or strength and conditioning coach.

“Plan A is to continue to play basketball as long as I can,” she said. “This is what I’m interested in. Basketball is everything and I can’t imagine doing something without basketball.”

Monmouth University is located in West Long Branch, N.J., which is about an hour from New York City and Philadelphia.

Freshman Hopkins finding range for Monmouth

Last updated: February 03. 2014 11:59PM - 2315 Views

Freshman Mia Hopkins is starting to make an impact with the Monmouth University women’s basketball team.

Hopkins (Pittston Area) has played in all 23 games off the bench but recently has come on strong – 13 points in 17 minutes in a 64-49 victory over Siena, 13 points and four rebounds in 11 minutes in a 75-70 victory over Manhattan, and 12 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes in 52-41 triumph over St. Peter’s.

“In the past two weeks, Mia has been playing with a lot of confidence which I think is really helping her,” coach Jenny Palmateer said. “We’re talking about someone who in high school had her back to the basket quite a bit and could get things going in transition because she could always handle the ball and score.”

But the coach believes that Hopkins has adjusted well, especially of late.

“I really feel like she is just coming into her own,” Palmateer said. “I think we’re seeing what she has in her. She’s a flat out scorer and can do it in a lot of different ways.”

The 5-foot-10 Hopkins is averaging 4.5 points and 3.0 rebounds, and has hit 44 of 95 shots from the field (.463). She also has 18 assists and nine steals for the Hawks, who are 6-17 overall but they’re still in the wide-open Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference race with a 6-7 record.

 MIA HOPKINS NAMED MAAC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information
  Release: January 27, 2014

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Monmouth University freshman guard Mia Hopkins (Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area) has been named MAAC Rookie of the Week, the league office today announced. Hopkins becomes the second Hawk freshman to earn the honor this year, joining Helena Kurt (Spanga, Sweden/Igelstavikens Gymnasium), who was recognized on Nov. 25.

Hopkins continues to emerge as a valuable contributor for the Hawks, as evidenced by her 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this week. She had six points, six rebounds and two assists against Iona on Friday, before matching her season high with 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 3-pt. FG) on Sunday against Manhattan. She also added four rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist against the Jaspers. She shot 42.1 percent (8-19) from the floor, including 42.9 percent (3-7) from long range on the week.

The Hawks return to action Thursday, when they take on Hourglass Rival Saint Peter’s. Opening tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Yanitelli Center.

Adams and Hopkins Garner Women's Basketball Weekly Awards Courtesy: MAAC Sports  
Release: 01/27/2014


MAAC Rookie of the Week

Mia Hopkins, Monmouth

Fr., G, 5-10, Pittston, Pa./Pittston Area

 Mia Hopkins continues to emerge as a valuable contributor for the Hawks, as evidenced by her 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this week. She recorded six points, six rebounds and two assists against Iona on Friday, before matching her season high with 13 points on Sunday against Manhattan. Hopkins also added four rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist against the Jaspers. She shot 42.1 percent (8-19) from the floor, including 42.9 percent (3-7) from long range.

Hopkins earns MAAC Rookie of the Week

Last updated: February 01. 2014 1:41PM - 2129 Views

Monmouth University freshman and Pittston Area graduate Mia Hopkins has been named Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, the league office recently announced. Hopkins became the second Hawk freshman to earn the honor this year, joining Helena Kurt, who was recognized on Nov. 25.

Hopkins continues to emerge as a valuable contributor for the Hawks, as evidenced by her 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this week. She had six points, six rebounds and two assists against Iona on Friday, before matching her season high with 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 3-pt. FG) on Sunday against Manhattan.

She also added four rebounds, two steals, a block and an assist against the Jaspers. She shot 42.1 percent (8-19) from the floor, including 42.9 percent (3-7) from long range on the week.

Sophomore year:




Photo Gallery: http://www.monmouthhawks.com/PhotoAlbum.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=14300&BIO_PLAYER_ID=1441138&BIO_PICTURE_ID=1&KEY=


FRESHMAN (2013-14): Saw action in all 33 games off the bench, averaging 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game… Hit on a team-best 35.3 percent of her three-point attempts… Shot 44.8 percent from the floor… Scored a season-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line against Siena (Mar. 2)… Established an early season high of 13 points at Siena (Jan. 13) on 6-of-8 shooting, including a conversion on her only three-point attempt… Matched her then-season high with 13 points in a win against Manhattan (Jan. 26), connecting on 5-of-8 field-goal attempts, including 3-for-4 from long range… Chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds in a victory over Saint Peter’s (Jan. 30)… Opened her career with seven points and a season-high nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, vs. Yale… Had a strong all-around performance in the Hawks’ first win of the season vs. UMES, compiling eight points, five rebounds and a season-high four assists… Made a season-high three steals at Niagara (Jan. 19).

BEFORE MONMOUTH:
Became the first Division I scholarship player from Pittston Area High School in Pennsylvania… Scored over 1,500 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in her high school varsity career… Named to the Pennsylvania Sportswriters All-State Team in both her junior and senior years… Nominated for McDonald’s All-America as a senior… Played in the Pennsylvania State All-Star Game in Harrisburg in the postseason… Averaged 20.3 points, 14.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.0 blocks per game as a junior, helping Pittston Area to a 17-7 record, including 12 straight wins to begin the season… Named the Wyoming Valley Conference Player of the Year and led the Patriots to the Division 2 playoffs as a junior... Showed the ability to post a huge game in high school, scoring 39 points as a junior against Holy Redeemer, while also pulling down 29 rebounds in her first game as a freshman… Hopkins also played AAU ball for Coach Isiah Walker with the Firm AC basketball program.

PERSONAL: Born in Pittston, Pa. … The daughter of Sharon Hopkins… Hopes to become a basketball or strength and conditioning coach after college… Undecided on a major
.


Hopkins' Career Stats:

YEARGP/GSFGM-FGAPCT3PM-3PAPCTFTM-FTAPCTREB/RPGASTTOBLKSTLPTS/PPG13-1433/065-145.44812-34.35320-36.55696/2.92726411162/4.9TOTAL33/065-145.44812-34.35320-36.55696/2.92726411162/4.9

Hopkins' Career Highs
Points: 15 vs. Siena (03/02/14)
Rebounds: 9 vs. Yale (11/09/13)
Assists: 4 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (12/03/13)
Blocks: 2 at Niagara (01/19/14)
Steals: 3 at Niagara (01/19/14)
Minutes: 27, two times, last vs. Quinnipiac (02/07/1
4)
Pittston Area grad Mia Hopkins continues to impress in sophomore season at Monmouth

Last updated: January 29. 2015 5:20PM

By Nick Wagner - nwagner@civitasmedia.com

She has the drive. She has the determination. And she’s making every opportunity count.

Mia Hopkins, a 2013 Pittston Area graduate and the only Patriot girls basketball player to ever receive an NCAA Division 1 basketball scholarship, is currently a key factor in the Monmouth University women’s basketball team. And she still has two years left.

Hopkins, a sophomore guard for the Hawks, has taken every opportunity and turned it into an impressive start to her career.

Through the first half of the season, averaging 13 minutes of playing time, Hopkins is scoring just under 6 points and averaging 4 rebounds per game. Off the bench, she is just one of six Monmouth players to see the floor in every game this season. Of those six players, Hopkins is shooting a team-best 40 percent from the field.

While she doesn’t see the floor as much as some of her teammates, Hopkins is showing that she can play with the best of Division 1 players. Being a part of the team her freshman season made that happen.

“I worked pretty hard this summer and developed my three-point shot,” Hopkins said. “I’m not as nervous as I was last season. You just learn so much in one year of experience. You’re able to see so much more and understand things a lot more.”

When the calendar was ready to flip to 2015, Hopkins began to turn it on.

In 30 minutes of action against University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Dec. 30, Hopkins poured in a career-high 21 points. She was 9-of-13 from the field. In her next game, Hopkins rattled off another 14 points in a loss to Iona College. She made four threes. She filled in for an injured teammate and took advantage.

“I knew in my head I was going to get more time,” she said. “I basically prepared myself for that and that was one of my opportunities. I just went hard and kept playing.”

Monmouth head coach Jenny Palmeteer saw that drive and determination while scouting Hopkins while she was at Pittston Area. Hopkins has a nose for the basketball, on the offensive end and defensive end. She’s able to get up and down the floor quickly and create matchup problems for opposing teams.

“The first thing I remember watching her play was I loved her ability to really push the ball,” Palmeteer said. “She really got up and down the court and fnished. I loved her attitude and her spirit. She’s someone who really has a passion for what’s she’s doing.”

That passion started at a very young age.

Hopkins has been around the game as far back as she can remember. She has pictures of herself carrying a basketball around her home. She even remembers the first time she made a basket in her driveway. Over the course of the rest of the season, and through the next two years, Hopkins wants to use that passion to help her get to the next level of her college career.

“Remembering why I fell in love with the game of basketball,” she said. “When things aren’t going your way you have to fall back and remember why you’re playing. That’s definitely the key with my family being there for me through all the ups and downs. That’s the really why I’m here.”

Monmouth is sitting at 8-11 overall and 4-6 in the Middle Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The Hawks, however, seem to be catching some momentum.

In their last game, which Hopkins wasn’t able to get into the score sheet in her 10 minutes of play, the Hawks held Fairfield University to 33 points. The 33 points were the fewest allowed by the Hawks in nearly five years.

Hopkins is a force on the defensive end, according to Palmateer. Her rebounding is a big reason why.

“Her rebounding is definitely one of her biggest strengths,” Palmateer said. “She has just a nose for the ball. She has a high motor. Half the battle is going and getting it. She’s always willing to do that. I give her credit.”

Hopkins contributes that to her aggressiveness.

“I feel like it’s an aggressive way of doing things,” she said. “I’ve always had a nose for the ball when a shot is going up. I go for it. I can’t explain it better than that. When I’m in that aggressive mode I get hungry for the ball.”

As a freshman for the Hawks, Hopkins saw considerable minutes in all 33 games off the bench. Last season, she averaged just shy of 5 points and 3 rebounds per game. She shot a team-best 35 percent from the three-point line and an impressive 45 percent from the field overall.

Hopkins scored a then-career high 15 points in a game against Siena College last March. Although her numbers seem to be very similiar to last year’s statistics, both Hopkins and Palmeteer see improvement.

“She’s improved so much from last year,” Palmateer said. “I have no doubt she will continue to keep climbing and learning. She has such a passion for the game. I don’t know if anyone on our team has that. I can’t wait to see what she’a able to do. The sky is the limit for her.”

Prior to selecting Monmouth to continue her hoops career, Hopkins turned in an impressive resume at Pittston Area. There, she became the first Division 1 scholarship player from the high school. She recorded over 1,500 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds in her varsity career.

She was named a Pennsylvania Sportswriters All-State selection her junior and senior years, and was nominated as a McDonald’s All-American as a senior. Her junior year was most impressive. In 2012, she averaged 20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick