Former CU hoops star makes Knicks roster

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BOULDER – Former University of Colorado men’s basketball standout Chris Copeland who played for the Buffaloes from 2002-06 has earned one of the 15 spots on the New York Knicks NBA roster. Copeland is one of two rookies on the team.

For the first time ever, four former CU basketball players are on 2012 opening day NBA rosters. Copeland joins Chauncey Billups (L.A. Clippers), Alec Burks (Utah Jazz) and Cory Higgins (Charlotte Bobcats). Last year, Billups, Burks and Higgins were the first CU trio since the 1992-93 season when Matt Bullard, Jay Humphries, Alex Stivrins were on NBA rosters.

“I think everywhere I have played at has been a major learning experience,” Copeland said. “I am blessed to have had the opportunities I have had. It’s very exciting to play in New York and a blessing to have made it this far. It’s an unbelievable feeling and hard to put into words, but yes a dream come true.”

Copeland (6’8, 225 pounds) was a four-year letterwinner from 2002-2006 helped CU to a pair of NIT Appearances (2003-04, 2005-06) and a NCAA Tournament berth (2002-03).

Copeland’s best season was his senior year finishing second in scoring at 12.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He also led CU with 32 blocked shots. Over his four-year career, he netted six games over 20 points and tallied three double-doubles, all during his junior year.

The Richmond, Va. and Hermitage High School native, also had a productive junior campaign finishing second in scoring (11.7 rpg.) while leading the Buffs on the glass (5.6 rpg.) and in blocks (36).

His best collegiate game was Jan. 4, 2005 returning to his hometown leading CU to a 75-69 win over the Richmond Spiders. Copeland scored a career-best 25 points (10 field goals made) with four three-pointers.

When he left CU, Copeland was eighth in career blocks (88), 30th in rebounding (425), and 33rd in scoring (848). He earned his psychology degree in the summer of 2009.