Although he's only 24 years old, Austell resident Ron Coleman’s basketball career has seen its share of twists and turns, both here in the United States, as well as overseas.
As a teen, Coleman was a key member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) squad, The Family, and a prep star at Romulus High School in Romulus, Mich. From there, he earned a scholarship to play hoops for the University of Michigan.
After starting at small forward as a freshman, Coleman went on to enjoy three more productive seasons in Ann Arbor, graduating in 2008 with a career average of 5.9 points per game and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in General Studies.
Then, reality hit.
The NBA Draft came and went and Coleman’s name was never called.
Out of college and without a job, Coleman found himself asking, ‘what next?’
Coleman hooked up with the Holland Flash, a semi-professional squad based out of Michigan, but his stint didn’t last long as he still yearned for loftier dreams on the court. He headed South for Atlanta with the hopes of playing ball and honing his skills overseas against international competition.
For almost a year, Coleman waited patiently to hear word of an invitation to play, but his phone stayed woefully silent.
“It was tough. It was discouraging just having to make some serious choices like, ‘Do I want to play basketball or do I want to start a career doing something else?’” said Coleman. “I applied for a lot of jobs during that time when I didn’t have a team to play on and interviewed for a lot of different things outside of basketball.”
However, he remained faithful and kept in shape by training at Southern Polytechnic State University, shooting in the gym and pumping iron in the weight room.
“There was a time when I was like, ‘Dang, am I ever going to get on a team?’” he said. “But basketball was what I knew. I’d been doing this forever, and basketball had gotten me a lot of places.”
Following a brief stay with the Gwizzlies, opportunity met preparation and Coleman was invited to join Skt. Klemens, a Danish basketball club of Denmark’s first division. The European squad was looking for an athletic 6-foot 6-inch small forward and Coleman fit the bill.
Coleman exchanged emails with the head coach and shortly thereafter, he was on a plane bound for Denmark. He signed a three-month contract with Skt. Klemens in Dec. 2010, joining the club for the final three months of their season.
“It was competitive,” said Coleman. “People don’t think those guys in Denmark can play, but they’re raw.”
In his nine games with the team, Coleman impressed, averaging 27 points, 13 rebounds and three assists per game as Skt. Klemens closed out the year at 6-3.
“It kind of reshaped my confidence,” said Coleman of his time playing in Denmark. “It was kind of like playing back in high school. I was scoring, I was shooting, I was flashing, I was doing everything and it was pretty cool to feel that again.”
This summer, Coleman returned to Austell, and continues to train at SPSU as well as the local YMCA while waiting on that next phone call.
Currently, his agent has deals pending with teams in Germany and Portugal, two of the top leagues in Europe.
“I’m going to keep playing and eventually I know I’m going to get to where I want to be because I know I’m not going to stop working for it,” said Coleman. “It’s just a matter of being hungry and that’s just how I am. Right now, I’m just waiting on my call and when that happens, I’m going to go and I’m going to play my butt off.”