North Point senior Hope signs to East Carolina for basketball
North Point senior signs to D-I program for hoops
Under head girls basketball coach Mike Serpone, North Point High School senior Necole Hope has had a decorated career thus far: Leading the program to two Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and Class 4A East Region titles, a Charles County champi- onship, a SMAC Potomac Division title to go along with two state tournament appearances.
She also has boasted two All-SMAC and All-County selections, including the county’s Athlete of the Year last season as a junior.
Despite all the accolades, her hard work in the offseason and in the class- room did not go unnoticed.
Hope, a left-handed guard, has now found her college home, recently sign- ing her national letter of intent to NCAA Division I East Carolina University.
Her signing ceremony at North Point on Nov. 10 was one of three incoming freshmen for the Pirates to sign during the NCAA’s early signing period.
“First off, I give all thanks to God for giving me the ability to receive a full-ride scholarship and play the game I love,” said Hope, who is also referred to by many as “Coco.” “And I want to thank my mom [Marie] for putting me before a lot and supporting me through the long process. I’ve always wanted to play Division I, so it was a blessing.”
Hope, who maintains a 3.6 GPA is taking AP and honors classes, is happy that the recruiting process is over before the season begins.
“It is so much pressure relieved,” she said. “Picking a school can be a lot to deal with, but God kept me order and I’ve kept my grades up and I’m done with my senior portfolio.”
Hope also received Division I interests from Old Dominion, Norfolk State and University of California Irvine, among others, but East Carolina was the right fit when she went on her official visit in late August.
East Carolina, which competes in the American Athletic Conference, is 3-1 on the season as of Nov. 20.
“East Carolina was the perfect for me because it is away from home, but not far,” Hope said. “When I went on the visit I played pickup games with the other players on the team. They also play in the same conference as [defending NCAA champion] UConn.”
After her visit to the campus in Greenville, S.C., Hope got an early
taste of the speed of the college game.
“I noticed that the games were up and down at a fast pace and that I have to keep running, work on my handle and play defense,” said Hope, whose led the Eagles to a 6812 overall record in three seasons. “The players are bigger and stronger also.”
On what Hope will bring to the program, East Carolina head coach Heather Macy said, according to the school’s website, “Necole is an explosive wing scorer. She has the ability to score at all three levels, which will make her a very tough matchup. Necole is an outstanding defender as her length and athleticism allow her to guard multiple positions on the floor. Necole and her high school team have enjoyed a ton of success during her ca- reer and we look forward to her bringing that winning mentality to our program.”
Before arriving to North Point in Waldorf, Hope, who was born in Bethesda, resided in Anne Arundel County for most of her childhood, also liv- ing two years in Germany as her mother, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, was ordered to serve for military work.
After a brief stint in Alaska, Hope first started playing soc- cer for the Jessup Youth Provinces Organization Recreation soccer team at an early age and then her athletic ability took her to the basketball court. She played for the Meade Youth Basketball Association and sev- eral other teams up until the high school ranks.
“I’m proud of her. Not only is she getting a full ride, but she is doing something that she loves,” Marie Hope said. “It was a busy schedule with being team mom and challenging with taking her to AAU practic- es and games over the week- end. It was a sacrifice of blood, sweat and tears.”
As a freshman, Hope came onto the scene where she played a key role in leading the Eagles to the 4A state champi- onship game, including a ninepoint performance in a 57-51 win over Anne Arundel’s Old Mill in the 4A East Region final. That game saw the young Hope score seven of the team’s final eight points, including a huge three-pointer with an less than a minute left.
After a garnering All-County first-team and All-SMAC sec- ond-team honors as a sophomore, Hope delivered in her junior season, averaging a team-high 17.0 points per game to go with 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 1.0 blocks a game.
“We definitely are proud of her. She had raw talent as a freshman and has grown into a big-time player for us,” Serpone said. “She is very aggressive and ECU is getting a diamond in the rough. “We’ve been working on her pull-up jumper. She is doing a job of adding to her game.”
This past summer, Hope played on the AAU circuit for the Boo Williams 17-U Gold team and also for Havoc City in Maryland under coach Boogie Washington. After her sophomore year, she with the Boo Williams 15-U EYBL travel team out of Hampton, Va.
With the senior season near, Hope is eager to help lead the Eagles back to the state tournament.
“We just have to stick together and feed off of each other,” she said. “Our defense has to be on point and if we do that, we can make another deep run.”
North Point senior Necole “Coco” Hope, pictured at right in last season’s Class 4A East Region Section II semifinals versus Annapolis, signed her national letter of intent Nov. 10 to NCAA Division I East Carolina University.
North Point High School senior Necole ‘Coco” Hope signed her national letter of intent to NCAA Division I East Carolina University for basketball on Nov. 10. Seated, from left, are Necole Hope and her mother Marie Hope. In the back row are North Point athletic director Andrew Shattuck, left, and head girls basketball coach Michael Serpone.