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Back On The Court, Hopkins' Coffey Prepping For College Career In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Hopkins senior basketabll star Amir Coffey is back.

After blowing out his knee and ending his junior season, he's back on the court. He says it's a much better than sitting in street clothes on the sidelines watching.

"It was horrible," he said. "Coming to all the practices and games and sitting on the side -- I really wanted to get out there and help my team, but I couldn't because of the injury. So it really sucked."

You may remember from two years ago, his infamous, backcourt miracle shot in the state title game, heard round the basketball world.

"It was really just a tie game, 1.7 seconds left, and I just threw it up. I wasn't really expecting to make it. I thought that it was going to go into a fifth overtime, but it dropped." he said.

The ensuing chaos on social media was almost as wild as on the court.

"I got a lot of mentions and followers and fans, and some haters, off of that, but it was pretty crazy," Coffey said.

You might also recall his two Division-I sisters that came before him at Hopkins High School, both now playing in college, or his father Richard, an inside presence from the Gophers in the early 1990s. He coached all three children.

"Boys are a little different," he said. "The recruiting process was a lot more intense. The girls made their mind up pretty early in the process of where they wanted to go. With Amir, it came a little later. So we have a lot of teams involved. We have a lot of options."

Amir will follow his dad in his college dream -- staying home with the Gophers. He says his relationship with the coaches was a big part of his decision.

"They've been recruiting me since my sophomore year, talking to me about every other day," he said. "I just like the situation with the coaches and the players over there. The program is very good."

Before he was injured, Coffey played on the elite summer circuit and made quite an impression on college coaches.

"When I first saw him when I got the job two years ago, he was a guy we really wanted," Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino said. "Because he's got size and versatility. I mean, he's an offensive-mismatch nightmare."

Coaches know Coffey has some of those rare gifts, and the idea is to couple it with tenacity. And the numbers can be big -- really big.

"In high school basketball, to average a triple double is almost impossible. The game's too short," Hopkins basketball coach Ken Novak Jr. said. "You have a tendency not to play guys as much, because you get up, and we have intensive play. But while he's playing, we want him on that type of track."

So he keeps moving towards bigger goals, with a father who has set the tone.

"'Never give up, and keep working hard.' That's probably another quote that he always told me as a kid," Coffey said about his dad. "Never stop working, and always pursue your dreams."

That's coming from a dad who's watched three children live their hoop dreams.

"That's awesome," Richard Coffey said. "To have three kids, and all of them have been blessed with enough talent to play Division I basketball -- that's an awesome thing."

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