Hopf signs

Curt Hopf’s NLI at Barr-Reeve on Monday. Front row, Angie Hopf, Curt Hopf and Kevin Hopf. Back row, Albert Kavanaugh, Trey Showalter, Eric Yoder, Josh Thompson, Kraig Knepp and Dean Scott.

MONTGOMERY — Barr-Reeve senior big man Curt Hopf officially joined the Bellarmine Knights on Monday, as he will now be part of the second class of the newly promoted Division I program. Hopf signed his National Letter of Intent at Kavanaugh Kourt in front of friends, family, coaches and teammates.

Hopf, 6-8, had received interest from all across Division I and II, including an offer from the University of Evansville, along with Morehead State and Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo. Indiana University was also interested in recent weeks. Bellarmine will soon start its first season as a Division I school, and before the pandemic, had Duke, Gonzaga and UCLA on their schedule.

Hopf transferred to Barr-Reeve from Forest Park after his sophomore year, but was not allowed to play as a junior due to eligibility issues. Hopf helped lead the Rangers to the 2A state finals as a freshman.

The last 12 months have not been easy between COVID and eligibility issues however Hopf is excited to have this part of the process behind him.

“The future was definitely uncertain, with sitting out and with COVID rising. There’s definitely uncertain times ahead still, but it’s just a huge weight off my shoulders knowing where I’m going next,” said Hopf.

“All the elements added up for the perfect equation for me. My teammates really seemed like good guys that I can get along with for the next four years. We’re not too far from home, the drives is only about two hours. It’s a good location, good city, and really good coaches. They were completely honest with me and I believe in the process. They’ve just been fantastic all through this process.”

According to the Bellarmine website, in 15 seasons in DII at Bellarmine, coach Scott Davenport amassed an overall record of 364-109 and a Great Lakes Valley Conference record of 192-65. The Knights advanced to four Final Fours (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017), captured five GLVC Tournament titles (2010, 2011, 2017, 2018, 2019) and secured at least a share of six GLVC regular-season championships. Before transitioning to DI, Bellarmine carried the nation’s longest active streak of consecutive appearances in the DII NCAA Tournament with 12.

Hopf’s current Barr-Reeve team has high expectations again this season. They finished 25-1 and won a sectional last season before COVID ended the year just before regional.

Coach Josh Thompson got to watch Hopf play for the last two summers (before the IHSAA ruling kicked in Aug. 1 2019) and every day in practice.

“He is just so athletic. He runs the floor so well and if he were 7-foot, he would remind you a lot of Cody Zeller,” Thompson added.

“First and foremost, he handled himself incredibly well. I mean when it didn’t look like things were going turn out for him, he kept the faith and he kept working hard. “

Thompson said he also has many physical skills, but it’s also everything he brings off the court that is important.

“His basketball IQ is so high. He really understands the game, very well. Even though he’s not a point guard, he sees the floor extremely well. And I think he’s very underrated as a passer, especially when teams double and triple team in the post. He just picks people apart, so he’s a very dangerous kid to double team,”said Thompson.

Hopf’s parents, Kevin and Angie, were excited with Curt’s choice.

“We want to say that we are very proud of Curt. He has worked very hard for many years to get to this point and it is wonderful to have an opportunity to play for good coaches and good people in high school and college. It has been a blessing to be at Barr-Reeve and we’re very excited for his opportunities for the future,” said Curt’s mother Angie.

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