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Jerry Coleman gets chance to extend CU basketball career

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POTSDAM — If you thought Potsdam native Jerry Coleman was done with his college athletic career think again.

Coleman may have used up his baseball eligibility last spring, but he’s now a graduate student at Clarkson and will play for the men’s basketball team this season.

“I’m psyched that he has this year of eligibility left,” Clarkson men’s basketball coach Mark Gilbride said. “We’re thrilled to have him. He’s a tremendous athlete and a tough competitor and a really good team player.”

Coleman, who was considered one of the top professional baseball prospects at the NCAA Division III level two years ago, only started playing basketball at Clarkson last season and he ranked third on the team in scoring, averaging 13 points. He also averaged 5.1 rebounds.

What brought him to the basketball court was the chance to be teammates with his younger brother, John, who is a sophomore this season at Clarkson.

“If he didn’t go to school here, I wouldn’t have played,” Coleman said. “I have one more year to play with John and that’s the big thing. I like playing with him.”

Area fans are aware of the Coleman family, which consists of five brothers.

It’s an intensely competitive family when it comes to sports, as an incident last year proved when John and Jerry were playing a pickup game in the Clarkson gym and Jerry knocked out John’s two front teeth with an elbow while trying to get a rebound.

“The ironic thing is he played that weekend,” Coleman said. “I couldn’t play, because I had stitches in my elbow. I didn’t even have a bad injury. He was missing two teeth and he could play.”

Said Gilbride of the accident, “They are both very competitive and they battle really hard in everything they do, in practice and in the offseason. That sets a nice tone for everybody.”

Circumstances are a little different for Coleman as he prepares for his final season of competitive sports. He is not sure what career path he wants to take. He has options in athletics and the business world.

“(Coaching) is in the back of my mind,” Coleman said. “I can try and be a coach somewhere and work my way up that ladder or try and be in the business world and sit behind a desk. Sitting behind a desk doesn’t seem a great option right now, but it’s definitely a solid option.”

“Grad school wasn’t my first choice, but it was a simple choice after the way jobs worked out and this and that. It’s a good fit. I didn’t see anything I really wanted to do that bad and going back to school was a really good option. A masters (degree) leaves me with more options than I came in with. I really don’t know what I want to do. With my degree right now the most interesting thing for me is defense contracts, missile defense, anything aerodynamics-wise I can get into. Now, with the master’s business degree, that adds to it. I can be an administrator now, which is more options.”

Two years ago Coleman thought professional baseball might be an option, but he was not drafted after his junior season and he is not sure he would have left Clarkson even if he had been selected.

To make it to major league baseball would have meant about four or five years of playing in the minor leagues with no guarantee of ever making it to the highest level and that would have left him behind if he retired and tried to into the business world.

“I think I went almost as far as I could have gone (with baseball),” Coleman said. “It’s a lot of work. I don’t know if now I’d be willing to put that much work into it. As of now my competition for (business) jobs, they’ve already had internships and co-ops, which I haven’t had a chance to get too. I’m a little behind in that sense.”



MEN

Outlook: Clarkson is coming off a solid 16-win season but the Golden Knights faded a bit down the stretch last year, going 3-5 in their last eight games. Clarkson lost its leading scorer Felix Llanos to graduation, but returns its next four top scorers. ... SLU ended last season with three straight losses but still finished with 14 wins. The Saints lost their top two scorers to graduation. ... SUNY Potsdam had a 20-loss season a year ago, but the Bears do return two of their top three scorers in Curtis Pierce and Rob Duquette. ... SUNY Canton begins this season with a new coach, former St. Lawrence University assistant coach Jim Bechtel. The Kangaroos are transitioning to the NCAA Division III level.

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: Mark Gilbride (4th year, 42-33).

2011-12 record: 16-9 overall (9-7 Liberty League).

Roster: George Toyama (Jr. G), Nick Colombo (Fr. G), Scott Barrows (Fr. F), Nigel Mitchell (Sr. G), Dylan Hodownes (So. G), Marques Charlton (Jr. G), Christian Collette (So. F), Jerry Coleman (Gr. F), John Coleman (So. F), Charles McAllister (So. G), Jeremy Liss (Fr. G), Felix Abongo (Fr. G), Nate Uline (Jr. F), David Cieri (Sr. F), Jake Martin (Fr. F).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Chris Downs (15th year, 229-144).

2011-12 record: 14-11 overall (10-6 Liberty League).

Roster: Grant Tracy (Jr. G), Brady O’Neil (Jr. G), Kyle Miller (Sr. G), Matthew McTague (Fr. G), Marty Lewis (Fr. G), Al Jones (Jr. G), Shawn Hines (Fr. G), Payton Stahler (Jr. G), Tell White (So. F), Brandon Rivera (Jr. F), Brady Condlin (So. F), Dustin Pond (Fr. F), Andrew Bartlett (Fr. G), Leondre Simmon (Fr. G), Janpeter Brase (Jr. F), Trent Benton (Fr. F).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Sherry Dobbs (10th year).

2011-12 record: 5-20 overall (3-15 SUNYAC).

Roster: Greg Torchon (Jr. G), Josh Lambert (Sr. G), Mark Lake (Sr. G), Jake Klossner (Jr. F), Joe Estramonte (Fr. G), Mitch Lamerson (Fr. G), Rob Lamont (Fr. F), Brandon Williams (Jr. F), Frank Bushen (Fr. G), Curtis Pierce (Sr. G/F), Tom Graf (Jr. G), Corey Ellis (Sr. F), Colin Peterson (Jr. F), Tariq McIntyre (Fr. G), Rob Duquette (Jr. F), Zac Adams (So. G/F), Ryan Porter (Fr. F).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Jim Bechtel (First year).

2011-12 record: 12-11 overall.

Roster: Ryan Lamica (Sr. G), Tyler Ellison (So. G), Michael Diaz (Fr. G), Kornel Smith (Fr. G), Khalid Vaughn (Jr. G), Kevin Ravenell (Fr. G), Terrence Gifford (Fr. G), Nick Speech (Fr. G), Scott Dixon (Jr. G), Michael Pulci (Fr. F), Richard McBride (So. F), Tyler Thomas (So. F), Xavier Fisher (So. F).

WOMEN

Outlook: Clarkson improved by three wins last year, but still finished with less than 10. The Golden Knights lost leading scorer Carey Turner to graduation but return their next three top scorers. ... SLU dominated the Liberty League during the regular season, but was upset by Vassar College in the Liberty League playoffs. The Saints return their top scorer, Kelly Legg. ... The Bears only won five games last year but had a young team. SUNY Potsdam returns their top four scorers from a year ago. ... Like the men’s team, SUNY Canton is beginning a transition to the NCAA Division III level this season. The Kangaroos struggled last year but have their top scorer, Kaitlin Myers, back. Myers averaged 16.0 points, nearly 10 more than her next closest teammate.

Clarkson Golden Knights

Coach: John Hampton (3rd year, 13-35).

2011-12 record: 8-16 overall (3-13 Liberty League).

Roster: Melissa Bogart (Fr. G), Raeanne Clabeaux (So. G), Ashley Loggins (Fr. F), Jovanna Snead (So. G), Colleen Daley (Fr. F), Noelle Miller (Sr. G/F), Jazmyn Haywood (Sr. G), Leighann Tomita (So. G), Taylor Glidden (Fr. G), Brooke Butkovsky (So. F), Morgan Hinckley (Fr. F), Isabella Esposito (Fr. F).

St. Lawrence Saints

Coach: Dan Roiger (4th year, 58-18).

2011-12 record: 21-5 overall (16-0 Liberty League).

Roster: Kara McDuffee (So. G), Hannah Wilson (Jr. G), Cassie St. Hilaire (Jr. G), Allison Cady (So. G), Lauren Quattrocchi (Fr. G), Amanda Roberts (Fr. G), Gabriella Hahn (Fr. G), Julia Raue (Fr. F), Catherine Murray (Fr. G), Kelly Legg (Jr. F), Madeline Wetterhahn (So. F).

SUNY Potsdam Bears

Coach: Tara Ruckh (8th year).

2011-12 record: 5-20 overall (3-15 SUNYAC).

Roster: Colleen McNamara (So. G), Adedoyin Akingba (Sr. F), Carli Reynolds (So. G), Bailey Weigel (So. G/F), Chenice Russell (Jr. G), Hannah Kmiecinski (Jr. G), Jessica Kouzan (Jr. F), Morgan Clark (Fr. G), Katy Briedis (Sr. G), Katie LaVoie (Fr. F), Margaret Wall (So. F), Daronda Addison (Jr. F), Veronica Sapp (So. G).

SUNY Canton Kangaroos

Coach: Bruce Tallon (8th year).

2011-12 record: 6-16 overall.

Roster: Corrine Riegel (So. G), Catherine Betances (Fr. G), Brianna Sayer (Fr. F), Tricia Boland (So. G), Ashley Merritt (Fr. C), Megan Morrow (Fr. G), Alicia Uhlein (Jr. G), Joelle Percy (Jr. F), Brittany Crump (Sr. G), Destiny Petty (Jr. G), Kaitlin Myers (Sr. F), Karyss Terrance (Fr. F), Sierra Richardson (Fr. C).

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