‘Culture’ lured Hopkins star to Coppin State

Photo courtesy of Coppin State Chudear Tut

Chudear Tut missed a good portion of her second season at Coppin State. The 6’-2” sophomore middle hitter from Minneapolis recently returned and shined in a 3-2 win over Howard on Oct. 10. She had 13 kills, three blocks, and led the Eagles in hitting (.444).

“This year I’m shooting for high fours, maybe in the five,” admitted Tut, a Hopkins High School graduate, on her hitting percentage goals during an MSR phone interview before the season.

Tut was one of three Eagles players in 2020-21 who appeared in all 16 matches and 61 sets starting at middle hitter, a season affected by the pandemic. She was named MEAC Rookie of the Year. Tut was the league’s rookie of the week five times as well as second-team All-MEAC and MEAC All-Tournament Team after Coppin State finished runners-up to North Carolina A&T.

Those honors caught her by surprise, said Tut. “My coach was telling me every week, every single week, ‘Hey, you got this, you got that,” she recalled. “I thought I wasn’t working as hard as I could have been.”

Tut’s first college year was, if anything, unconventional and unexpected: She took off-campus classes and played in the spring rather than the typical fall. “I went into it with a mindset of, I’m going to handle anything that is thrown at me,” she said. “You really just have to have a strong mindset.”

Choosing Coppin State, located in Baltimore, was largely because of culture, said Tut. “I grew up in a really small town in Iowa, and I didn’t really see a lot of people of color. I moved up to Minneapolis and I could see a little bit more, but it still lacked that culture aspect.

“I came out to Baltimore. It’s an HBCU. I fell in love with the team. The girls were supportive, their med program was crazy,” exclaimed Tut. “I am a bio premed [major]. I’m trying to be a sonographer, working with ultrasound [and] radiology.”

Tut and the Coppin State volleyball team are still battling in the tough MEAC. She hopes to finish the season healthy. 

“We have some really great girls.”