Cooper was raised in the Watts section of Los Angeles. She began playing organized basketball at age 16 and quickly took to the sport. She earned a scholarship to the University of Southern California, where she played in the shadow of Cheryl Miller while helping the team to national championships in 1983 and 1984. After college Cooper played professionally in Europe, primarily for a team in Parma, Italy, where she blossomed into a potent scorer and a tenacious defender. She was a member of the 1988 U.S. national team that won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul.
By the end of the WNBA’s inaugural season, Cooper had established herself as the league’s first great player. Cooper helped lead the Comets to titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000, each time being recognized as the MVP of the play-offs. She was named the league MVP for the second time in 1998. Cooper retired in 2000 and became the head coach of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury the following year. She returned to playing basketball in 2003 and permanently retired from the game in 2004 with WNBA career per-game averages of 21 points, 4.9 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.56 steals. Cooper was named the women’s basketball head coach at Prairie View (Texas) A&M University in 2005. She was selected for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
Hill is currently in her second season as an assistant coach with the University of Arizona Wild- cats women’s basketball staff. She spent 7 seasons as an assistant coach at Northern Illinois (her Alma Mater), where she was a standout player, MVP, held countless records and holds a space in the Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame. E. C., played over 12 years of professional basketball, 4 of those were in the WNBA, the remaining 7 years in Europe, 1 in the ABL. Before the WNBA she would spend 1 season playing for the Chicago Twisters (WBA).
Hill is an NIU Athletics alumni and Illinois Basketball Coaches’ Association Hall of Famer. Her name can be found throughout the Northern Illinois women’s basketball record book. As a player, she helped lead the Huskies to three-straight NCAA Tournament berths under NIU Hall of Fame coach Jane Albright. She was named a first-team U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association All-American, a Kodak District Four All- American, a preseason Street & Smith’s and Basketball Times All-American, Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year, first-team All-Mid-Con and All-Mid- Con Tournament on a 25-6 NCAA Tourney squad that won the 1993-94 Mid-Con regular-season title with an 18-0 record. Hill led the league and ranked 16th nationally in scoring (22.0 ppg.). A two-time Northern Illinois MVP (1992-93, 1993-94), Hill was named the North Star Conference Newcomer of the Year with a 14.2 points per game average in 1991-92.
E.C. graduated from Northern Illinois in 1995 with a degree in communications. Hill’s first coaching opportunity came at Robert Morris College in Chicago. She served as head coach during the 2004-05 season before returning to NIU for the 2005-06 campaign. Hill played professional basketball for the Chicago Twisters (1995), New England Blizzard (1996-99), Chicago Condors (1998-99) in the American Basketball League, with the Charlotte Sting (2000), Phoenix Mercury (2001), Los Angeles Sparks (2001) and Orlando Miracle (2002) in the WNBA and in many cities in Europe.
She graduated from Northern Illinois in 1995 with a degree in communications. Hill has a daughter, Asia Janay Murray. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.