DANVILLE (WCIA) — Erin and Ted Houpt have spent countless hours in the gym together. It’s the same court Ted led the Vikings on nearly 40 years ago, before going on to become a school record holder and All-Big South player at Winthrop.
“My dad played the biggest role,” Erin said about her dad’s influence on her. “Just being able to take me to the gym whenever.”
Now Erin is the one setting records, learning what she can from the man who also coached the Vikings to two boys’ basketball regional titles. It’s all a product of hard work, and a mindset that no day is off limits to practice.
“There’d be so many times on holidays or just random times where I’d ask, ‘Can we go shoot?'” Erin said. “And he’d always say yes.”
“There wasn’t a holiday when it didn’t happen,” Ted added. “We’ve spent Christmas in this gym on a number of occasions. Some people would think, ‘Are you crazy?’ Well maybe but that’s a good Christmas day for her, it’d be terrible to take that away from her.”
Houpt turned that practice into the best career in Danville history. Erin averaged 27 points a game her senior year, shooting almost 50 percent from the field and 43 percent behind the arc. She ended her career with 2,208 points, the most in school history for a boy or girl, passing one of her best friends for the top spot, Kendle Moore, the 2018 WCIA 3 Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.
“It just means a lot,” said Erin. “There’s been so many good players to come through. So being the one, it’s really special to me.”
“I always tell coaches, ‘She’s a three-point layup,'” Danville head coach Zack Patterson said. “When she shoots from three point it’s basically a layup for her. You’re in the moment and you want to stay in the moment but when you look back on what she did this year you’re in aw. Incredible.”
Like her father and older brother Sean, she’ll move on to the next level, heading to Mercer University this summer.
“I think when she talked to them, it was clear to her, and her mother and I, that there was something special about the coaching staff,” Ted said.
“They told us all about the school and everything, I kind of knew right then that was where I wanted to go,” Erin added.
Two-thousand plus career points, a four-year starter who never missed a game. Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, the accolades kept stacking up in Houpt’s career, but the chance to play her senior year and finish out her prep career with the Vikings is the only thing she wanted.
“This is all we could have asked for,” she said. “We were pretty good this year, we had a good time, we never had to sit out for COVID or anything. I think it ended how we wanted.”
Dad won’t be there for shootarounds next year but Erin will have a whole new platform to showcase what a kid from Danville is capable of achieving, and she’ll do it all as the 2021 WCIA 3 Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.
PAST WCIA 3 GIRLS’ BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS:
2021: Erin Houpt, Danville
2020: Capria Brown, Schlarman
2019: Anaya Peoples, Schlarman
2018: Anaya Peoples, Schlarman
2017: Sierra Thompson, Mattoon
2016: Tori McCoy, St. Thomas More
2015: Lexi Wallen, St. Thomas More
2014: Tori McCoy, St. Thomas More