Mia Hopkins  

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How did Mia go from small town girl to global icon? One word… Perseverance.

Basketball has been a way of life from birth. She was born into a basketball cultured family, as the granddaughter of local legend GAR basketball coach, John Hopkins.

During childhood, Mia played: baseball, soccer, track, and golf as well. However, basketball always had a special place in her heart. It excited her.

The process to greatness was a mental one. As a child, she would often ask her grandpa to play HORSE. He would always beat her and go back inside and tell her “she’s no good, get better !” A simple game inspired her so much to increase her shooting abilities. This also led to sparks of visualization in the driveway. Mia would imagine her opponents and beating them and making game winning big shots. These all came true. In 3rd grade she played on the 5th grade team. She always played up in organized basketball.

Once she got to HS she started Varsity as a freshman. High School basketball was easy for her, all she did was a get a bucket. It did not matter how or how it looked. She was a true savage on that court and averaged a double/double every single night.

She got recruited through AAU basketball , and had the privilege to go to  Monmouth University. She had to change her game and improve her skill set quickly to become a D1 guard. She learned how to shoot 3s, play defense, and developed basketball IQ. As a freshman, she was the 7th man on the team. 1st guard sub off the bench. This was her dream…

Sadly, Monmouth women’s basketball was going through several coaching changes and rebuilding. Leading Mia to transfer after her second season. She transferred to Bloomsburg where she did not like it at all. After transferring a second time, she had to redshirt because of NCAA rules. The finale of her career concludes at West Chester University where her and her teammates made school history her senior season. They won 18 games in a row, swiping the PSAC east.

When she was leaving college, she knew she wanted to play professional basketball, but had no idea HOW.

She spoke with some agents; none rubbed her the right way so she did what she has always done, she did it herself.

Randomly after winning a shooting contest on social media, she got invited to play in a FIBA exposure event, the Mediterranean cup in France. At the event, she did pretty good and held her own. She collected  just enough film to make a highlight tape to send out to European coaches directly. She sent this tape out to thousands of emails and received only one offer to play in the Czech Republic for very little money.

The Czech Republic situation was just as sketchy as it sounded. She made a game- winning shot and the next morning she was fired.. After receiving the bad news, she decided to stay in Europe to try and get on another team. She lived the nomad life in Krakow, Poland before being picked up by a team in Ireland.

She played on two teams in Ireland. Averaging 17 points per game. This is when the idea started to implant in her mind that she could do anything.

She wanted to level up, so she worked her tail off that entire summer and played in another exposure event in Germany in the fall. This one didn’t go so well, and she didn’t get any film…

Somehow by the grace of God she got picked up by her dream team in ATHENS, GREECE!!! She had a beautiful apartment overlooking the entire city. She thought she manifested her dream.

Her dreams were shortly crushed when tendinitis in her achilles took over. Leaving her to come back home, having to rehab with Physical therapy.

In the meantime she got her Brazilian passport because her goal was to play for the national team… then COVID hit.

During COVID, she did at home workout programs buying programs from top trainers such as Tim Grover and DJ Sackman.

She joined men’s leagues and soon became one of the top scoring threats.

She knew she could play with anyone at this point, so she started calling WNBA agents. After being denied for months, finally one agent connected her with another, and this agent gave her a chance.

The agent had an opportunity for Mia to go to San Antonio, Texas to train with an old Spurs trainer— Tim Springer.

Springer prepared her for the WNBA combine in April 2021. She attended the combine in the belief that she would get recognized easily. Once again, things did NOT go according to plan. She allowed the external environment to influence her behavior and she didn’t play her game at all.

Devastated, she was stuck back at square one. Now with no savings and no options.

She played in a tournament in the Dominican Republic and then came back to play on a women’s minor league team, the San Antonio Surge.

Her first game she was blossoming and playing great. Then, everything changed. She dove on the ground for a loose ball and someone fell directly on her bent shoulder, completely dislodging her shooting arm.

The worst kind of labrum tear. Meaning her entire shoulder was ripped out. The prognosis was a year out, surgery, and potentially never being the same again..

Luckily after getting the MRI, she had the choice if she wanted surgery and she declined. She KNEW she was meant for great things.

She wildly chose to go back to Texas with nowhere to go, leaving her to crash on a teammates couch.

This is when she gets the random miraculous phone call from AAU coach Isiah Walker.

“Yo man, I got you a tryout for The Harlem Globetrotters!”

Mia knew she was not even close to being healthy and she asked if she can reschedule. He said no and to be ready, they were flying her out…..

So she went to the gym to get her shot back… Whatever she did worked because on the day of the tryout, the flood gates were lifted, and she balled out, impressing the scouts.

Life works in mysterious WAYS. Believe in yourself, master the necessary skillset, and persevere.

Mia’s story is a perseverance story and she is grateful for her journey up until this point. She played two seasons for the Harlem Globetrotters. Then followed up with playing a season professionally in the Brazil National league.

Mia states that this is just the beginning of her basketball and professional career.