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Panther Spotlight: Senior Chris Coalmon Keeps His Eyes on Goals

By: Jade McClinton-Dorley

This issue of The Delphian focuses on Chris Coalmon of the Adelphi men’s basketball team. Coalmon is a senior and a physical education major. He finished his first season at Adelphi scoring 317 points with a field goal percentage of 46.5 percent. He hopes to become a physical education teacher and start an Amateur Athletic Union program for kids. In this interview, we get insight on how Coalmon’s basketball career has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and his overall background.

Chris Coalman shooting a three-point goal. Photo from Adelphi University Athletics

Q. How has Covid-19 impacted your basketball career and abilities? If it hasn’t impacted you then why?

A. I would say Covid has impacted me from a basketball standpoint because of not being able to get into a gym for about two months. I had to find different ways to go work on my game. It was interesting and also fun. I had to literally drive around in my car and find a hoop to go shoot on. If I couldn’t find anything to do, I would dribble the ball up and down the street. However, despite the difficulties, my eyes have never left the goal, which is becoming a professional, in fact it enhanced it.

Q. What do you do to keep yourself safe during this pandemic?

A.: I wear a mask almost everywhere I go and I only see a selected few people.

Q. What does basketball practice look like these days?

A. Basketball practice is a little bit different now with the pandemic. We are required to wear masks when we lift weights, but not when we practice together as a team. Our coaches wear masks and gloves when they are with us on the court.

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far, basketball or non-basketball related?

A. My greatest basketball achievements are: scoring 1,500 career points on the island, being able to play major minutes in championship games in both freshman year and senior year, being All-Long Island multiple times, and being blessed enough to obtain a scholarship for playing basketball for Division 1 and 2 schools. A lot of people don’t get that opportunity, so I am forever grateful for that. My greatest non-basketball achievement isn’t an achievement yet, but it’s my ability to help others and teach. My biggest joy in my life is when I see a smile on a kid’s face when I teach them something and it works.

Q. What, if anything, has your basketball career taught you so far?

A. Patience and perseverance. People always wonder why I’m so patient, because basketball has taught me that. As a young player, we can get so caught in the hype that we see from other people and we want that same success. It doesn’t work like that. You create your own story. I learned to be patient and let my success come to me. One thing I’ve preached in my life is to keep your head up no matter what it is. It was easy to say because I’ve never really gone through anything in life. My sophomore year of college really blindsided me with adversity. It felt every time I would stand up and I would be right back on the ground. One of the things that really got to me was the passing of my grandfather. On top of that, I wasn’t playing at all at my other school. I really questioned if I was going to ever touch a ball again. However, I stuck with it, and continued to push myself regardless of my situation.

Q. What motivates you to keep going every day?

A. A lot of things keep me going every day. One of the things is I always feel like I have something to prove. A lot of people still count me out. I take it very personal. I am determined to show them why they passed on me or why they should’ve chosen me. You hear those stories about how Draymond Green can recite all those players that passed on him. I remember all the schools that passed on me too. Secondly, what gets me going is my future family. My father and grandfather always told me what you do in your early twenties will determine what your fifties will look like, which holds truth in my opinion. So I always think about putting my future children in the best position possible.

Q. What made you want to come to Adelphi?

A. The coaching staff of the men’s basketball team. After I entered the transfer portal, I just wanted to work on my game and take a year off to see where I was mentally. The coaching staff here gave me my confidence as a player back by constantly showing me interest. I couldn’t say thank you enough for that.

Q. What is your ultimate goal when you graduate from Adelphi?

A. The ultimate goal is to be able to play professionally as long as I physically can and to teach the youth.

Q. What inspired you to become a physical education major?

A. After my sophomore year, I came home for the summer and I decided to work at my high school. My high school has the biggest basketball camp in New York State. A lot of people who’ve gone to this camp are currently playing in college today. So, being able to coach and create a bond with the players is what made me change my major.

Q. Are there any words of advice or positivity you wish to give readers?

A. To the people who read this, the best is yet to come. Continue to push forward with your lives. Be the best versions of yourself and inspire others. Everyone goes through something in their lives. It’s how you respond to adversity that makes you who you are today. You can be anything you want to be; just go pursue it.

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