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Lady Raider Tarpley signs to play basketball at Cumberland

In front of coaches and family on Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023, Coffee County Central senior Emaleigh Tarpley signed her national letter of intent to play basketball at Cumberland University. (photo by Josh Peterson, Thunder Radio)

Senior Emaleigh Tarpley’s presence has been palpable on the floor for the Lady Raiders in her one season at Coffee County Central.

Now the Cumberland Phoenix will get the benefit of that presence.

Tarpley on Wednesday (Feb. 1, 2023) signed her national letter of intent to continue her basketball career and education at Cumberland University in Lebanon.

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“I chose Cumberland because it felt like home the moment I stepped on the campus,” Tarpley explained to Thunder Radio sports. “I actually lived a few streets over and went to daycare facing the gym so my life has just come full circle. The girls and the coaches are so amazing. They are so understanding and kind. They care so much about you, not just as a player and person.”

Tarpley said she plans to major in nursing.

Tarpley transferred to Coffee County Central from Rockvale just before the start of the 2022-23 season and she has been a big part of Coffee County’s success.

The Lady Raiders are 27-1 overall and unbeaten in district play. They are ranked no. 2 in the state of Tennessee in the Class 4A Associated Press poll.

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Tarpley averages 5 points per game and is either the first off the bench most nights and earns starting assignments on other nights. She often draws the opposing team’s top scorer on the defensive end of the floor.

“We knew we had a good basketball team before Tarp came on the scene,” said CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope. “Adding her just makes us deep off the bench, gives us options defensively and allows us to rotate our posts in multiple ways. We are proud of her – Cumberland is getting a solid basketball player and one heck of a competitor.”

After the season is over, Tarpley is one of three Lady Raiders selected to play in the BCAT All-Star game in Lebanon.

The Lady Raiders will be back in action Friday night, Feb. 3 when they travel to Warren County for their final district regular season game. Tip off is at 6 p.m. for the girls, boys to follow. Hear it live on Thunder Radio WMSR AM 1320, 107.9 FM, 106.7 FM (Tullahoma) worldwide on the Manchester Go app or at

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Emaleigh Tarpley – photo by Holly Peterson, Thunder Radio | Thunder The Magazine

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