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Goppert followed lead all way to D-1

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Amber Goppert wasn't alone among north country girls who looked up to Malone standout Missy West.

But she was one of the select few who could play like West.

Goppert competed in soccer, basketball and softball for Malone, and excelled in all three, just like her idol. She played with an aggressive nature, which carried her to an NCAA Division I basketball career, just like it did for West.

"She was tough and rugged and determined," said Michele Wiggins, Goppert's coach in soccer and softball for the Huskies.

Goppert played for six Section 10 championship teams during her high school career, which ended in 2000. She reached the state final as an eighth grader on the softball team in 1996 and made it to the semifinals in basketball two years later.

She scored a Section 10-record 129 career goals in soccer, including a stunning 45 in her senior year, and once scored five goals in a game. In softball, she made three straight Times All-North first teams. In three straight seasons, she hit .712, .609 and .603 and stole more than 50 bases each year.

But she made her biggest impact in basketball, recording 1,813 career points as a guard for the Huskies. She also finished with 466 assists and 644 steals. Malone went 98-8 and won four sectional titles during her four years as a starter, and Goppert was twice a member of the all-state team. Malone has retired her No. 24 jersey.

Goppert moved on to the University of Richmond, playing four years, including three as a starter, for the Division I Spiders. She recorded the first triple-double (20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) in program history as a junior and finished her career fifth all-time in program history in scoring, second in steals and third in assists. Richmond went 44-19 during Goppert's final two seasons and made the WNIT both years, recording the first postseason wins in team history and advancing to the tournament semifinals her senior year.

Goppert, also a standout defender for the Spiders, currently ranks sixth at Richmond all-time with 1,398 points, third in steals (243) and fourth in assists (363).

She graduated in 2004 and is now a personal trainer, working at a fitness center in the Atlanta area.

To read about previous selections to the Times' list of The North Country's Greatest 100 Athletes of All Time, log on to www.watertowndailytimes.com

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