Players like Angel McCoughtry don’t come along very often, the kind willing to take a team on her back if necessary — or go scoreless if that what it takes, getting teammates involved, taking the difficult shots, absorbing physical beatings night in and night out in Big East women’s basketball play.

Angel says she does it all for the University of Louisville, her school, her team, not for any personal gain although that would be appreciated, and one is inclined to believe after watching her put her battered body on the line for four seasons. Better appreciate her, support this University of Louisville team, because time is short. McCoughtry still says she wants to make more history for U of L, and she usually makes good on her word.

Here’s more insight on Angel from the New York Times:

When Angel McCoughtry was growing up in Baltimore and would go out to play pickup basketball, she’d always get a warning from her dad, Roi.

“He was like, ‘Come in before dark,'” McCoughtry said. “But that’s when the pickup games got good, when it was getting dark. And the lights would come on, and I’d have to come home. I would get in trouble because I would always come home late. I was always outside, playing basketball.”

Well, McCoughtry is about to play where the lights are brightest of all in her sport: at the women’s Final Four, a showcase the Louisville program is going to for the first time …

When you talk to McCoughtry, you find out that she can be quite funny and gracious, too, so don’t take just what you see in TV sound bites to be the “real” Angel. Truth is, the “real” Angel is a complex person who paid dues to get her trip to the Final Four.

She went to college prep school in North Carolina for a year after finishing high school and was pretty miserable there. When Louisville asked her to come on a visit, she went in part just to have somewhere to go.

She said when she made the decision to play for Louisville, a lot of people said, “What? Why on earth are you going there?”

Her father, though, supported the decision. He told her going to a school like Louisville would give her a chance to help a program make a name for itself in the women’s game. And then last season, Walz and Bingham came aboard, too, with the same idea.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.