Laura Harper, a former University of Maryland standout and WNBA post player, has joined the Loyola University Maryland women's basketball coaching staff as an assistant, Head Coach Joe Logan announced. Harper replaces another former Terrapins player whose jersey now resides in the Comcast Center rafters, Keith Booth.
"We're excited to welcome Laura to our program," Logan said. "I have known Laura for a long time, from her days at Cheltenham High School in Philadelphia through her wonderful career at Maryland. Laura is a great person who will act as a tremendous role model to our players, and the team will benefit from all her incredible accomplishments. We are excited to have her on board and look forward to her helping us move Loyola women's basketball forward.
Harper, who played four seasons at the University of Maryland, graduated from the school in 2008 and was picked 10th overall in the WNBA draft to the Sacramento Monarchs. The power forward averaged five points and 3.7 rebounds in her first two seasons as a pro.
"I'm honored to accept the position at Loyola," Harper said. "I can't wait to work with such a great staff and a wonderful group of girls. I am grateful to Joe Logan and the rest of the athletic department for believing in me and allowing me this opportunity. It feels great to officially say I am a Loyola Greyhound."
Most recently, Harper played overseas in Russia for the Dynamo Moscow. During the 2011-12 season, she also played for Antakya Turkey, averaging 13.3 points and 9.9 rebounds.
While at Maryland, Harper led the Terrapins to the 2006 National Championships. At the tournament, she received the NCAA Final Four Outstanding Player award, after scoring a career-high 24 points in the semifinal game against North Carolina. Two days later, Harper recorded 16 points in the title win against the Duke Blue Devils.
"Laura is a perfect fit for Loyola," said Brenda Freese, head women's basketball coach at Maryland."She is a tremendous addition for Joe Logan and his program, as she's a rising star in this profession."
Harper sits atop the charts at Maryland with 198 blocked shots for the Terrapins. The Philadelphia native ranks sixth in free throws made, scoring 1,407 points in the Maryland jersey.