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Amir Coffey says it would mean a lot to play at same school as his Dad.

12/16/2012, 7:30pm CST
By Chris Monter

Richard Coffey is a Gophers fan favorite more than two decades after he helped lead the U to the Elite 8.

Amir Coffey, a 6-foot-5 freshman wing from Hopkins, comes from a basketball family. His father, Richard, played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers from 1986-90 and one season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His older sister, Sydney, is a freshman at Marist, where she was recently named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week. His other sister, Nia, is a standout for defending state champion Hopkins and signed with Northwestern in the early signing period.
Gopher recently caught up with Amir to learn the latest on his freshman campaign and early recruitment.   
Richard Coffey was a fan favorite for the Gophers, who averaged 8.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He was nicknamed “The Paratrooper” for his stint with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and did not join the Gophers until he was 25.   
Amir Coffey has 12.8 points per game as he has helped lead the Royals to a 3-1 start. He has scored in double figures in three of the four games, including 22 points in a 79-48 win over Rosemount.
Gopher Hole: You currently have offers from Iowa State and Penn State. What are some of the other schools that you are hearing from?
Amir Coffey: There are some schools that are showing interest. I got letters from Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Tulsa and Virginia.
Gopher Hole: What things have you been working on to improve yourself as a player?
Amir Coffey: My defense and my strength to get better in everything and just improve in anything I can.
Gopher Hole: You have grown quite a bit in the last year. How much have you grown in the past year or so?
Amir Coffey: A couple of inches. I am 6-4 or 6-5 now. I have grown a couple of inches.
Gopher Hole: How much do you think that has helped your game?
Amir Coffey: A lot. It always helps when you are taller. It helps.
Gopher Hole: You obviously come from a basketball family. Has basketball always been in the blood?
Amir Coffey: Yes. Since I was little, I always wanted to play basketball. I got in the gym when I was little and play decent now. Got to keep working and stay humble.
Gopher Hole: Have you seen much tape of your Dad playing with Minnesota?
Amir Coffey: No, I haven’t. I’ve heard a lot of stories, though about him. That he was tough and almost got kicked out of the games.
Gopher Hole: He was more of a physical player, but maybe not as skilled as you are. Is that something he tried to work with you on?
Amir Coffey: He works with me on my skills all the time and he says that he knows that I am not going to be as physical as him, so he wants to work on my jump shot and my dribbling and the skill stuff. 
Gopher Hole: Do you guys ever go one-on-one ever?
Amir Coffey: No. We play HORSE or Around The World.
Gopher Hole: Who wins those?
Amir Coffey: Me, of course (Laughing)
Gopher Hole: How about your sisters? Do you ever go up against them?
Amir Coffey: When we were little, I used to beat them.
Gopher Hole: when was the last time you went up against them? 
Amir Coffey: Probably in sixth grade.
Gopher Hole: You had a tough loss against Tartan in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic, but you are expected to be one of the best teams in the state. What are the expectations for the season?
Amir Coffey: Hopefully, win a state championship. We have got to get better. Obviously, we are going to keep working and we want to win a state championship like everybody else does. We just have to strive for it.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, your recruitment is still a long ways ahead. Do you like the attention that you receive?
Amir Coffey: I don’t really pay attention to it. Just keep humble and keep working for it.
Gopher Hole: Do you have a school that you would love to hear from or a dream school?
Amir Coffey: I really like North Carolina and Kentucky. Those are some of my favorite schools.
Gopher Hole: Have you had a chance to go to many college basketball games?
Amir Coffey: I went to a couple of Minnesota games just for fun, but soon enough I hope that will happen.
Gopher Hole: Would you like to hear from Minnesota?
Amir Coffey: Yes. It is a great school. My Dad went there. It is an awesome school to go to.
Gopher Hole: Your dad played at Minnesota. Have you ever thought about following in his footsteps and going there? 
Amir Coffey: Definitely. I have been up to the campus. It is beautiful. It is a great school. It is a nice school and I have thought about it many times.
Gopher Hole: What would that mean to you to play at the same place that your Dad did?
Amir Coffey: It would mean a lot. It is a great school. There are a lot of schools, but Minnesota is a great school. It would mean a lot.
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