In their 70 years of existence Okapi Aalstar arguably had their most successful season in the EMBL during the 2011-’12 season. During that season they won their first (and so far only) Belgian Cup after defeating the Antwerp Giants with the 96-89 victory in overtime.
And although their success in the Cup didn’t translate all that well to the overall EMBL competition as they only finished 4th in the standings of the regular season and were quickly swept in the opening round of the Playoffs by Mons-Hainaut, we can still acknowledge that they had a pretty impressive roster that season.
Leading the way for them was US Forward Christopher Copeland, who in his second season with the club dominated the league and was deservedly selected as the 2011-’12 Player of the Year as well as Star of the Coaches.
In a total of 45 games that season (EMBL Regular Season, EMBL Playoffs & EuroChallenge) Copeland recorded averages of 21.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 apg & 0.7 spg in 32.7 mpg. He was the league’s Top Scorer and recorded 8 games in which he scored more than 30 points, including a season-high 45 points in a regular season victory against Spirou Charleroi on an amazing 13/18 FG shooting (6-9 from behind the arc).
Copeland’s outburst against Charleroi is still one of the highest scoring performances of the past decades, with the all-time EMBL scoring record firmly in the hands of Kamiel Dierckx who once finished with 73 points in a single game!
Check our overview of the 2011-’12 season: right here.
After the 2011-’12 season Copeland left the Belgian league and signed with the New York Knicks where he made his debut in November 2012 and went on to average 8.7 ppg throughout his rookie season. The following two seasons he spent with the Indiana Pacers, while in the 2015-’16 season he competed for the Milwaukee Bucks.
After his 4 seasons in the NBA, Copeland returned to Europe for the 2016-’17 season when he played for Tofas (Turkey) and eventually ended his basketball career with a 6-game interim in Andorra (Spain).
At TIB we salute you.