Twitter: @ _Kaleb5

Instagram: @kalebcoleman5

 

Personally, one thing I will always find intriguing is an athlete who spends an entire high school career as a varsity team member. The notion that these type of players, coming out of middle school at such a young age, have the ability to quickly adapt to the physicality varsity competition impresses me. While some athletes may feel satisfaction in just earning a spot on the varsity roster, others seek to contribute right from the jump. They prove to be the more special bunch. Consider Kaleb Coleman '20, for example.

Coleman attends Matoaca High School in Chesterfield County, VA. A member of the Warriors' varsity basketball squad since entering his freshmen year, the 6'0 combo guard not only stands as one of the top players on his team but also one of the more impressive young players in the district. There's a lot to like about his game. Coleman uses his exceptional court vision and unselfishness to result in making the ‘right play' consistently. I first saw him play three years ago and quickly took notice of his passing ability; it is definitely next-level for a player of his age. Along with this, he has a complete offensive game as a ‘three-level scorer.' Attacking the rim, pulling up for close shots, and shooting the long trey ball are all components of Coleman's game. His ability to finish at the rim with both hands while showing excellent body control also stands out. He has few holes in his offensive arsenal, which serves as an indicator in how he averaged 12 points, five rebounds, and six assists during his sophomore campaign this past winter season.

'My coach and I have had serious talks in how he feels I could average a triple double for us this upcoming season,' Coleman stated, in a simple yet earnest manner. 'He truly believes I have the ability to do that. He wants me to rebound more and keep getting stronger.'

With that Russell Westbrook-esque production, more talk about the modest guard should certainly rise in the surrounding area. Nonetheless, Coleman shows to be anything but focused on his individual stats. He's centered on getting the Warriors back on track for the 2018-19 season.

'We didn't do as well last season, going 11-12. We had the team to be better than that but ended up falling short of our expectations,' he explained.

Coleman used this summer to a full advantage in working on his craft daily to impress on the AAU scene and in summer league basketball. He played as a first-year member on the Team Richmond Garner Road 16u team.

'The AAU season went pretty good. It honestly felt a bit longer than I expected, but I'd definitely say we did well. Especially considering we were a smaller team with no true big men. I'm looking forward to what AAU has to offer next year.'

I was at a tournament in Pennsylvania and actually saw Coleman playing a very solid game up until going down with an apparent ankle injury. He didn't take long in getting up off the floor and limping off to the side for a few minutes before checking back into the game. While he noticeably wasn't 100%, Coleman still fought through and made several big shots during the late stretch of the game. That action is just one demonstration of his character. The guy is TOUGH.

Aside from AAU, Coleman also was able to participate in summer league action with his varsity teammates; the league being hosted by L.C. Bird High School. He had several standout moments, including a 20-point performance against Huguenot High in the semifinals. Coleman earned second team all-league honors for his exceptional play.

'Summer league went pretty good. It was great competition against some tough teams. We learned though how we'll need to rebound and make free throws better as a team moving forward. That determines games. So, it was a good learning experience overall.'

With AAU and summer league now officially completed, Coleman is glad to have a sole focus on the possibilities for this upcoming high school season.

'We expect to improve on last year, simple as that. The top goal is obviously to win a state championship. Whether it would be this year or the next, that's definitely something I want to achieve in high school. But, for this season, win at least 20 games. I talk to the guys about that all the time.'

Competing in the Class 5 Region B classification, Coleman feels that Matoaca is more of an afterthought. The Warriors compete on a nightly basis against successful programs such as L.C. Bird, Prince George, and Varina High School, to name a few.

'Man, playing against those schools are always very competitive. Especially a school like L.C. Bird because they're right around the corner. Every game feels like a big game. But yeah, we're definitely slept on just because of the season we had last year.'

In his own recruitment, Coleman currently does not hold any offers but has attracted interest from several schools. Moving forward as an upperclassmen, he has a good idea on what he needs to keep developing in his game to become a noteworthy college prospect.

'I need to focus on perfecting my overall shot, from all levels. Advancing that into my game. I understand that smaller guards who shoot the ball well have bigger chances of playing at the college level. That, and defense. Those two things are the main ones I feel I need to work on right now to get to the next level.'

With his focus, toughness, and skill all combined, one should expect Coleman to have an even greater impact on his team as a rising upperclassmen. His intangibles speak loud and clear. So, as I always ask, where does the talented guard see himself in 10 years''

'Hmmm… honestly, I could see myself as a basketball skills trainer. That interests me, really.'

 

 

Keep an eye on Coleman and the Matoaca Warriors as they look to bring winning ways back to the program!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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