Bryan Coleman is a 27 year old 198cm forward from Southfield, Michigan that has five seasons of professional basketball under his belt. He has seen a lot of the world having played in countries like Finland, Norway, Luxemburg, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Australia. Last season he played with UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 35 games averaging 12.8ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 68.9%. This past summer he played for the Logan Thunder (Australia-QBL) playing 16 games averaging 18.3ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 75.5%. He is currently searching for a team and spoke to eurobasket about his basketball career.
Bryan thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
I am currently back home in Detroit, Michigan working out and staying ready for another opportunity.
You have played five professional seasons and played in six countries. It doesn’t matter where you play. As long as there is a court it seems like you are happy. Could you be described as a basketball junkie?
Yes I would say I am a basketball junkie. I do care about where I play but where ever I go I try to make the best of my situation.
Last season you had a solid season in Finland in the korisliiga and this past summer played in Australia, but are unsigned at the moment. Why do you believe has it been so difficult to land a new job this season?
I definitely didn’t think I still would be unsigned at this moment but everything happens for a reason. I received a few offers late in the off season but I ended up getting injured towards the end of my season in Australia and wasn’t able to play right away. I’m 100% healthy now and it’s time to get back to Europe for this season.
It isn’t always common for a division 2 player to have such a long career like you. How blessed do you feel having had so many opportunities and what do you believe has kept your career going since 2014?
God has blessed me a lot and I give all thanks to him. I believe being prepared, being coachable, a great teammate, and producing have kept my career going as long as it has.
How tough has it been for you at the moment with staying positive. Are you confident that you will land at least a mid season job?
It’s been very tough but I try to stay positive. I’ve been down this road before so the only thing I can do is stay sharp and ready. I’m very confident I’ll at least land a mid season job.
You have never won a professional title. Is choosing that right fit often like playing the lottery, because you want to try to play for that chip somewhere or at least be in a good position.
I’m still pushing to win a professional title. I want to be in a good position to compete for one every season. Regardless of the situation I’m going to give my all, play hard, and try to lead the team as far as possible.
Talk a little about your game and why you could help any professional team in the world right now?
I’m an 6’7 athletic wing/stretch 4 and a good defender that can guard positions 1-4. I can shoot the 3pt at a good percentage and rate. I have a knack for scoring the basketball. Most importantly I’m a great teammate and leader that wants to win and will do whatever it takes. Winning matters more to me than personal stats and accolades.
Your last job was with the Logan Thunder (Australia-QBL) playing 16 games averaging 18.3ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.6apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 75.5% You were teammates with last season’s top Pro A point guard Rayshawn Simmons. How would you classify the skill level there to other leagues you have played in?
Shout out to Ray great teammate and he’s doing this thing in Belgium now. The Australian QBL is a decent league. The skill level there is somewhat similar to Norway or Luxembourg. Good league to work on your game during the European offseason and to stay in shape.
Last season you played with UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 35 games averaging 12.8ppg, 4.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 68.9%. The Korisliiga is a very well respected league where guys often put up big stats like your ex teammate Stephon Jelks and then come to Germany. How did you experience this league and are you a bit disappointed you couldn’t follow him to Germany?
Playing for Korihait was a great experience and a good step for my career. Finland Korisliiga is well respected and a great league that many of the higher levels sign imports from. I had a good experience there just needed to win a lot more games. I got better there and improved though out the season so that was big for me. Shout out to Damion Dantzler for bringing me back to play for him again previously playing for him my rookie season. Steph is a dawg on the court and a great teammate. I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t follow him to Germany since I’m open to play in any good league. The German Pro A and BBL are definitely leagues I want to play in for sure though.
Two seasons ago you gained experience playing with Atletico Echague Parana (Argentina-TNA) playing 16 games averaging 8.7ppg, 3.1rpg, 2FGP: 43.4%, 3FGP: 30.4%, FT: 66.7%. The TNA league is another place Americans like to go to because the money is good. What do you remember most about the time off the court? Is there any chance of seeing as passionate basketball fans as they have soccer fans in that country?
I mainly remember it being super hot there and exploring the city when I wasn’t in the gym. Argentina has the most passionate fans that I have experienced so far. Soccer is the bigger sport there but they like basketball as well.
Do you remember having some battles against ex NBA players in Argentina. There you often will find those guys you haven’t heard of in a while and then pop up in the twilight of their career.
I know the Argentina league have many ex NBA players in it. I didn’t really check on who was there while I was there but I do know Dejuan Blair that used to play for the Spurs and Mavs was there the same season I was.
In 2016-2017 you played with Grengewald Hostert (Luxembourg-N2) where you tore up the second division averaging 26.7ppg, 8.2rpg, 3.2spg, FGP: 53%, 3FGP: 38%, FT: 86%. This also a league where I have seen guys from Germany or after a big season come to Germany. Did you in that season at least set foot in Germany and explore on an off day?
Yes I’ve been to Germany many times such as Trier and Munich. My bro Jeremiah Ingram played in Germany so I would go to some of his games in Saarlouis as well.
In your second season you played with Gimle BBK Bergen (Norway-BLNO) playing 9 games averaging 15.1ppg, 5.8rpg, FGP: 55.4%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 68.8%. Was this one of your toughest professional seasons because after a strong rookie season in Finland you didn’t get signed to January in Norway.
It was a tough offseason because I did have a strong rookie season and wanted to be signed during the offseason. My experience in Norway was great and I definitely enjoyed my time there. We had a good team and started the winning culture there. They have made it to the finals the past 3 seasons I believe.
Was this a offer you had to take then simply because of not taking the risk of sitting out a whole season? When you look back was going to Norway the wrong decision?
Yes once that offer came I took it since I was at home waiting. I don’t regret it because it was a great experience and I made the best of the situation I was in.
As a rookie you played with at Kaarinan Ura Basket (Finland-1st Division) playing 12 games averaging 16.6ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.3spg, FGP: 48.7%, 3PT: 26.2%, FT: 66.7%. What was your wake up call to being a rookie in Finland where you knew that you were very far away from home?
My wake up call was not understanding any of the Finnish language and experiencing the dark winters all day.
Sometimes it is fun to check box scores and then be surprised with the saying ‘Wow did I really play against him’? On March 11 you lost 102-64 to HBA Marksy. You had 24 points and 7 rebounds while on the other side an unknown Lauri Markkanen had 15 points. Last season he averaged 18/9 for the Chicago Bulls. Do you by any chance remember this encounter?
Yes I remember the battles with Lauri. I played him in a 3 game playoff series. I knew then he was going to make the NBA in one or two years. Highly skilled and athletic stretch 4 that’s playing well in the NBA.
You had a stellar career at Wayne State MI from 2010-2014. Was winning the GLIAC tournament in 2011 your most memorable achievement there?
Winning the GLIAC tournament in 2011 was definitely my most memorable achievement at Wayne State.
You really achieved a lot at Wayne State MI and had so many great games. When you look back at the four years there, what do you cherish most from that experience?
Wayne State taught me how to really work hard on the basketball court. I cherish the college experience and being able to compete every day and work hard with my teammates and coaches. We had a close group and built great relationships that still exist today.
You had battles against top division 2 school Bellarmine. You probably remember playing against Braydon Hobbs who reached the highest level in Europe the Euroleague with FC Bayern Munich. What memories do you have of him and do you sometimes wonder if getting a job like that sometimes has to do more with timing and luck than skill. Not to take anything away from a Braydon Hobbs who is an amazing player and has deserved everything he has achieved.
Braydon Hobbs is legit for sure. He is a high level point guard that can run a team, pass well, and shoot it. He deserves everything he has achieved. I think getting a job has a lot to do with your skill but also having a good agent to market you to teams is a must.
How did head coach David Greer groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Greer helped turn me into a man and made me work for everything. He helped me become a better defender and more efficient player. What he taught me has translated over into my pro career.
Who won a one on one back in the day you or Mike Lewis?
Haha we didn’t play many one on one games but I won them all.
Who was the toughest player that you have ever faced in the NCAA 2 or in the open gym that made it to the NBA?
Toughest NCAA 2 player I’ve faced was Braydon Hobbs and Jeremy Kindle from Bellarmine. Toughest NBA player I’ve faced was Anthony Davis and Jordan Crawford.
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore.
In no particular order Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Michael Jordan is the greatest to me.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Last movie I saw was the Joker.
Thanks Bryan for the chat.