“Elena brings a wealth of experience as a player and coach to our staff and will be a valuable addition to the NRBA family. Her ability to integrate her faith with the game she loves will have an eternal impact on our students and families.”
Coach Elena Popkey’s Bio:
Elena Popkey currently serves as a Player Development Instructor at the NRBA focusing on 1-1, small group and camp instruction. Elena is a graduate of Oakland University where she was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team. Oakland University, located in Rochester, Michigan is a member of the NCAA Division I Horizon League Conference. During her career as a Golden Grizzly, Elena tied the record for most career assists in program history and is ranked 6th all-time in 3-pointers made. Elena was named the inaugural recipient of the Horizon League’s Bobby Fong Award, was a two-time nominee for the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, was also nominated for the prestigious Matilda R. Wilson award, was named to the 2016 Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan College Academic-Athletic Team and was the recipient of the 2016 All-American Athlete Award announced by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
After her collegiate career Elena pursued her dream of playing professional basketball in Bad Homburg, Germany. During the 2016-2017 season, Elena averaged 14.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.2 steals per game, and was named to the All 2nd DBBL South First Team. After her successful season in Germany, Elena accepted an offer to continue her professional career playing for KFUM Östersund Basket in Östersund, Sweden. During the 2017-2018 season, Elena again put up all-star numbers averaging 18.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.5 steals per game. Due to her knowledge of the game and outstanding leadership ability, Elena was asked to transition into the role of player/coach. Unfortunately, Elena’s 2018-2019 season ended due to a knee injury which required surgery and will also sideline her as a player for the 2019-2020 season. Elena continues in her role as Head Women’s Coach of Östersund Basket and is planning on a return to active play during the upcoming season.
Elena lives in Raleigh with family when not playing and coaching abroad. She continues to pursue her basketball career professionally as a servant and disciple of Jesus.