Coppin State's Shawntae Payne Returns To Charlottesville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Coppin State's Shawntae Payne Returns To Charlottesville

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After an 11 day break for final exams, the UVA women's basketball team will get back into action Tuesday, as they host Coppin State.

It'll be a homecoming for Coppin State senior guard, Shawntae Payne.  

The former Charlottesville High School basketball star will play a college game at John Paul Jones Arena for the first time Tuesday night, as the Payne and the Eagles take on UVA.

"I used to come here to watch the women play, and I used to play AAU tournaments here," says Payne. "They've always been a good team."

Payne says growing up in Charlottesville, playing a college game on the Cavaliers court was always a dream, but she was always wearing the home colors.

"I always represent Virginia, everywhere I go," says Payne. "Even still, now."

Payne wasn't recruited by Virginia out of high school, after leading the Black Knights to the state semifinals in her senior season, and scoring over 1,000 points in her high school career.

She ended up at Coppin State based almost entirely on an online highlight video.

Eagles head coach Derek Brown says, "I was basically taking chance, because we didn't see her in action that much. She's turned out to be a positive player for us. She's been getting minutes for us for four years now."

The senior says she's not sure how many 'Shawntae Payne' fans to expect in the stands Tuesday night, but they should be vocal.

"I don't know, they're a lot though," says Payne. "A lot of people were calling me, asking me to get their name on the list. Hopefully it'll be a good crowd. I think they'll be pretty hyped, pretty loud."

Coach Brown says, "Shawntae is one, that if she hits her first couple of shots, she can be dangerous."

Coppin State and Virginia will square off Tuesday at 7pm.

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