When Zach Coleman committed to Mizzou earlier this week the most common reaction was "Great, who is he?". The response is understandable when you take in to consideration what Coleman has dealt with the last few years.
As an 8th grader he injured his knee and was forced too miss quite a bit of time rehabbing. Last year, playing at Woodrow Wilson (TX,) was his first time on the court competitively since the injury. This summer is also his first with the Dallas Mustangs so his exposure is not at the typical level of a player with his talent.
PowerMizzou.com caught up with his high school coach Pat Washington and his AAU coach Gerald Booker to get their thoughts on Coleman.
PM: How did Coleman play for you last year?
Coach Washington: "He did a really good job for us last year. He was a kid who hadn't played basketball in a while and I knew once he got used to it and he got stronger that he would be pretty good. I actually saw Zach when he was in 6th or 7th grade and I thought he had a chance to be really, really good. I didn't see him again until an 8th grade AAU tournament and then found out a couple weeks later that he blew his knee out. That is not something you usually see in the 8th grade and if he would have not hurt his knee it is very easy to believe that he would be a top 25 kid. He was on the same team as Julius Randle and Matt Jones and was actually the second best player on the team behind Julius. He can play, he can flat out play and he came back from the time off with the knee and I was delighted when he stepped right in and didn't miss a beat from the first game. He got better and stronger as the season went on. Oh and one other thing, he is a really good student too."
PM: How would you describe Coleman as a player?
CW: "In baseball they have five tool guys and in basketball we have four tool guys. He's a four tool guy. He can shoot it, he can handle it, he can pass it, and he can rebound it. He has a chance to be a really, really special basketball player as he continues to mature and develop. I know Coach Haith, Tim Fuller, and those guys do a really good job working with their players and putting them in good situations. I'm excited for Zach."
PM: What are you expecting from your team and Coleman next year?
CW: "I'm expecting quite a bit from him and the other seniors we have, I'm expecting a lot. I don't always reveal my expectations, but they know what my expectations are and I expect them to fulfill them. I have no doubt in my mind that they will."
PM: What type player is Coleman?
Coach Booker: "He's a workhorse. He's very versatile. He can handle the ball step out and shoot the three as well as bang inside with the big boys and rebound with the best of them. He's one of the hardest working kids that I've ever been around."
PM: What do the Mustangs and Coleman have scheduled this summer?
CB: "We just got done playing the Great American Shootout here in Dallas and we're going to play in the Dallas Mustangs Invitational in May. In June we're undecided right now. We're probably going to do a couple camps and a couple workouts. In July we're going to hit the live period hard with the Adidas Invitational in Indiana as well as the Las Vegas Adidas 64 and we're contemplating DC."
PM: What stood out to Coleman about Mizzou?
CB: "I know Coleman and Fuller have a great relationship and since I met him, which was a little bit before Christmas, he has been gun ho about Missouri. I know this is a dream come true for him and really big for him."
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