Certainly the most heralded basketball player in PCC sports history, Michael Cooper was an All-Metropolitan Conference selection for the Lancers before he became famous in the NBA with the "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s. Cooper played two seasons at PCC and finished as No. 7 on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,070 points (20.2 points scoring average). Cooper led the University of New Mexico as an All-American guard to a Western Athletic Conference title in his senior season. He was chosen by the Lakers as the 60th overall pick in the third round of the 1978 NBA Draft. He embarked on a highly successful 12-year pro career as he played on five Lakers World Championship teams. Eight times Cooper made the NBA's All-Defensive Team and he was the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 1987. NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird called Cooper the toughest player he ever faced. Cooper became a head coach in the WNBA directing the LA Sparks to two league championships. He also was an interim head coach for the NBA's Denver Nuggets and he spent four seasons as head coach at the collegiate level with USC.