Coaching the Dream - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Coaching the Memphis Dreams

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"People have dreams, I just came up with lets just be the Memphis Dreams," said Coach Wilbert Cooper. "People have dreams, I just came up with lets just be the Memphis Dreams," said Coach Wilbert Cooper.
"My dream is to go to college, be a basketball player, and have fun," added Stephanie Turner, another part of the Dream. "My dream is to go to college, be a basketball player, and have fun," added Stephanie Turner, another part of the Dream.

(WMC-TV) - A local coach wants young girls to have an outlet for their hoop dreams to come true.

"People have dreams, I just came up with lets just be the Memphis Dreams," said Coach Wilbert Cooper.

Cooper is a native Memphian, who grew up in a rough area of South Memphis. His motivation comes in helping those who are looked down upon.

"My dream is to go to the WNBA," said both Ariel Williams and Jasmine Carson, Dream players.

"My dream is to go to college, be a basketball player, and have fun," added Stephanie Turner, another part of the Dream.

"It's kinda intense but he makes us better," said Carson of Cooper's coaching.

Cooper uses football-based drills to help teach toughness and defense. Coach Cooper makes the seventh, eighth, and ninth graders on his Memphis Dream AAU team chase their basketball dreams, but first they have to chase a basketball down the court, just one of his many creative drills.

"The thing is that you're gonna do what your opponent isn't going to do. Everybody wants to do X & Os and setup. Anybody can play that kind of basketball, but can you play hard nosed basketball?" asks Cooper.

He drills them. Yells at them. Makes them work ... all in the name of winning.

"It's hard for other teams to beat us because we don't like losing at all," said Williams.

But there's another side to Coach Cooper

"We have fun, we go out to the movies, sometimes he takes us to basketball games," said Turner.

"It's up to us to sit there and get them off the street, and let them know that it's not just our area, it's a whole big old world outside," said Cooper.

A world where one day, maybe, their dreams will come true, thanks to Coach Cooper.

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