St. John’s Women’s Basketball Guard Qadashah Hoppie has been putting her heart out onto the court of Carnesecca Arena for the past three years. Her passion has always been for the game of basketball. With just about a month left until she tips off her final season with St. John’s, the Staten Island-native is starting to look more seriously at what she is going to pursue in her future.
Since her first appearance on the court as a Johnny, Hoppie has been a key player on the team; she has earned many accolades, led the team in scoring, broke program records and reached 1,000 career points during the 2019-20 season. After a hard-working career of playing basketball, Hoppie alludes that the 2020-21 season will not be her last time on a court.
“I want to continue playing professionally,” Hoppie said in an interview with the Torch via Zoom. “Whether that’s in the WNBA or some other Euro league, that’s what I want to continue to do.”
Hoppie wants to play basketball, and it is as simple as that. She said that she doesn’t want to do this for “too, too long” because she understands that her body will not endure a basketball career forever.
Though one day her career as a player will come to an end, she hopes to be a member of a team, courtside.
“I do want to get into coaching after that,” Hoppie said.
From the moment she stepped onto the Queens campus, Hoppie has been preparing for a future in coaching. She said that prior to committing to the University, Women’s Basketball Head Coach Joe Tartamella knew that she was eager to pursue this career. She said that Tartamella and herself often sit down, watch film from prior games together and discuss what it is like to be a coach.
“He’s someone that came from different ranks,” Hoppie said. “He’s seen it all, from the lowest to the highest, so he kind of tries to give me different teaching points and I just kind of watch and learn as much as I can.”
These coaching tips are just some of the many lessons and memories Hoppie will carry with her after retiring her long-held jersey for the Red Storm.
“No matter who we are playing, we show our heart,” Hoppie said, highlighting her team’s grit during games.
Hoppie referred to the endless perseverance that the team emits. She said that oftentimes some opponents look down on the team, yet they work to the best of their abilities to prove those opponents wrong.
“Teams, no matter what their ranking is, they still worry about us when they have to play us,” Hoppie said.
Off the court, Hoppie said she will always reminisce on the team’s trip to the Virgin Islands in November of the 2018-19 season. On this trip, the team played in the Paradise Jam tournament, where they went 2-1 in wins against Purdue University and the University of Mississippi and faced a loss against the University of Connecticut.
“The Virgin Islands [trip] taught me that although the basketball part is important, the chemistry and the family part is even more important,” Hoppie said.
Hoppie continued, stating that if the team wasn’t connecting and having as much fun as they were off the court, she doesn’t think they would have played as well as they did on it.
After learning tips from the coaches at St. John’s, building unbreakable bonds, playing countless minutes on the court and holding onto cherished memories, Hoppie will enter her future as a woman in the sports industry. Hoppie mentioned that there are a limited number of women in coaching positions within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), especially head coaches – a position that she is striving for.
“Anybody that is shooting for that dream, just know that it’s possible, especially now,” Hoppie said. “Everything is changing so don’t try to change your dreams because of the stigma of men being the head of the whole NCAA college basketball world.”
Looking forward, Hoppie sees all that lies ahead beyond her last year at St. John’s. After leaving her mark on the court of Carnesecca, she can rely on the Red Storm fans and Athletics Department to support her every step of the way.