Bryan Coleman is a 27 year old 198cm forward from Southfield, Michigan that completed his sixth professional season and first with PS Karlsruhe Lions (Germany-ProA) playing 17 games averaging 6.1ppg, 2.9rpg, FGP: 42.9%, 3PT: 30.8%, FT: 50.0%. 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 played college ball at Wayne State University (NCAA 2) averaging 16.8ppg, 5.2rpg, FGP: 44.4%, 3PT: 36.0%, FT: 82.3% as a senior. He spoke to germanhoops.com during the Coronavirus crisis.
Hi Bryan where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?
I’m currently back at home in Detroit, Michigan right now. It’s been rough not being able to get into the gym to shoot but I’m trying to stay positive and so at home workouts. Hopefully this pandemic will end soon.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
Honestly I didn’t I knew it was serious in China but I didn’t think it was going to spread this rapidly causing most of the world to shut down.
How did you experience the day to day life in Karlsruhe when you were still in Germany? What things did you notice in the surroundings there that showed that life wasn’t normal?
My day to day life in Karlsruhe was normal while I was there. Right before I left I noticed it was harder to find toilet paper and certain items because people were stocking up. I didn’t notice many things in the surrounding areas that showed life wasn’t normal except I started to see people wear masks a lot more.
Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing
Yes I’ve always been cautious around people that are sick but I just made sure I washed my hands more and kept hand sanitizer with me.
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro A. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
I was really disappointed that we could not finish the season. Although it was a tough season I wanted to complete it with my teammates since we were working hard each and every day.
Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans?
Our last game against FC Schalke was played without fans. Fans are a huge part of the atmosphere in the arenas. Playing without fans is a weird feeling but at the end of the day it’s just the players on the court. So you still have to go out and perform, the fans and crowd noise is a plus.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
I learned to just keep pushing, face adversity, and control what I can control. Just keep working hard no matter what. This season also helped me appreciate the little things, embrace and enjoy the moment, and not look too far ahead.
Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
No it’s not a big adjustment for me at all. The advantages for me is I can use this time to take care of my body and I can work on some of the deficiencies in my game. The disadvantages is not being able to play in organized games at a high level such as Pro A but I will stay sharp by playing in summer pro am leagues at home.
The whole world economy is going to be affected including German basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball. The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentally now not knowing what to expect?
I’m not worried about anything with basketball but I have thought about will leagues start on time next season and how will the market be affected since leagues were shut down and teams and players lost money. Those are things out of my control so I’m just staying ready and see how this off season will go.
If you had to name another player besides guys from the Lions that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
That would be my bro Arnold Fripp (Karhu/Finland) or Derylton Hill (Herford/Germany).
How has the day to day life been now in the States with the outbreak of the Coronavirus? Have you noticed any differences and are there any differences between the Americans and German people on how they are coping and handling themselves?
Day to day life at home sucks right now due to the corona virus. My state (Michigan) is on lockdown and everything is closed except essential businesses such as hospitals and grocery stores. There aren’t many differences from Americans and Germans right now as far as handling themselves.
How has your approach to family changed since the outbreak of Corona? What things have you seen yourself do that you may not have done before?
Not much has changed honestly. I just haven’t seen extended family and my elders due to the corona virus. I’ll wait and visit them when it’s safe. I’ve always been close to my family so I still talk to them on the phone often.
Let’s talk about the season with PS Karlsruhe. The team finished with a record of 9-18 and finished in 15th place. How would you summarize the season from a team standpoint. The last two games tell the story. You were able to beat one of the best teams Bremerhaven but then lose the last game to one of the worst team Schalke
I would summarize this season as inconsistent from a team standpoint. We didn’t play up to our full potential. We would beat and compete with the top teams but then lose other games. We just weren’t consistent enough. This season was a learning experience and helped me grow as a pro.
The team won the first two games and then experienced a severe tailspin losing 11-13 games. That was the deciding moment of the season as the club could never recover. What memories do you have of the first months and why couldn’t the team pull out more close wins? In this period you lost 4 games by 4 or less points including against top teams Jena and Heidelberg
The first months were tough because we were losing but competing hard. We were losing close games down the stretch. I think we struggled a little offensively and didn’t have a consistent defensive identity.
The club scored 80 points per game but also allowed 84 points per game. In the end the team had allowed 80 points or more 17 times. Why wasn’t the team able to find a defensive identity?
I think we didn’t buy in enough on the defensive end until late in the season. For most of the season I don’t think we were playing the best defensive style that was fit for our group. We just didn’t get the stops we needed at important times to finish games strong.
Let’s talk about your teammates. The club had a change at the guard position bringing in Marcus Stroman. What did you appreciate about his game most at the point guard position?
Marcus is a great guard for sure. He was a rookie but always soaked up knowledge, has great court vision, and he got after it on the defensive end. I appreciated all those things.
Orlando Parker is one of those great players that had to move up the basketball ladder and is an excellent role model. How will you always remember him and could you rank him as one of your best teammates this season?
OP is a great guy and teammate. He was definitely one of my best teammates this season. The whole group was cool as well. OP was a captain and he is a good stretch 4 that is athletic, can defend, and knock down shots. He’s been doing that in Germany for years.
Daniel Norl and German Filmore Beck ranked 1 and 2 in three point attempts and showed that they could light up the scoreboard at will. What did you learn to appreciate most about these guys games?
D and Fil both can get buckets. I appreciate their games a lot since I would defend them both in practice often. They both can create on their own, both can shot the 3, and get to the basket.
Center Maurice Pluskota has been a very solid Pro A player in the last 3 years. What do you believe is still missing in his game in order for him to reach the next level?
Mo is tough,athletic, he can shoot the three,and score in the paint. He already has played BBL before and I think he can play at that level again. He has all the tools in his game it’s just about being consistent every night. He will make the next jump in his career.
Let’s talk about your game. You came to PS Karlsruhe in November 2019 when the team was struggling. How tough was it having to get adjusted in a losing culture?
It was very tough and the first time I came into a situation where the team had lost a good amount of games in a row. The toughest part getting adjusted was getting injured and having a nagging injury all season. I had to try and keep that under control and still perform every day.
You averaged 6,1ppg and 2,9rpg in 17 games. How content were you with your season?
I’m definitely not content with this season in any way. It was the first time in my pro career I wasn’t getting solid minutes I’m used to. I have a lot more to give than what I was able to showcase. I’m already focused on preparing for next season and get back to my groove.
You have played in many countries in your career previously to the German Pro A like Finland, Norway and Argentina. Where would you rank the Pro A in competition and player skills in comparison to the other leagues where you have balled?
Pro A definitely is number 1 in leagues I’ve played in so far in my career. The skill level is high and every game is great competition. Pro A is very structured and technical as a playing style. It’s not as fast paced and athletic as some of the other leagues I’ve played in but still was great.
You have been used to getting more minutes in other leagues. How do you feel were you able to gain another step in your development in Germany?
I’m used to playing a lot more minutes so this year I definitely wasn’t content. This season made me more hungrier and I’m ready for next season to start. I think I developed a better IQ from playing in Germany this season. I got stronger physically as well.
You had some good games in losing causes against the Uni Baskets and Chemnitz, but had a 13 point game against Trier. What was your fondest moment on the court?
The home win vs Trier was my fondest memory on the court this season since we dominated them from the beginning of the game and played great defense.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro A this season?
It was a lot of good players but Kendall McCullum from Paderborn was tough to me.
Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now?
Luka Doncic is a great player but no I don’t think he is a top 3 NBA player. Maybe in a few years he could be.
Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. You were 4 years old when he began in the NBA. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence?
Kobe Bryant is my favorite player and has been for a long time. He was one of my idols and made me want to play in the NBA and pursue professional basketball. His work ethic and skill was one of a kind.
How bitter is it that the NCAA March Madness has been canceled? This tournament for some kids is the greatest time of their lives. What advice would you give that senior who worked hard for 4 years and would have had his one and only chance now?
March Madness being canceled was a big blow to college hoops. I would tell the seniors although you didn’t get to compete in the tournament try to look back on the experiences and relationships you’ve built during your career. If you’re going to pursue basketball at the next level stay ready and look forward to the next few months.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw was Coffee and Kareem on Netflix.
Thanks Bryan for the chat.