Creating opportunities for the youth in Detroit
Derrick Coleman is a local legend who grew up in Detroit and his accomplishments in high school, college, NBA, and in the Olympics are why he is regarded as one of the Top 10 players of all-time to come out of the state.
As a retired 15-year NBA veteran and ambassador of the sport, Derrick and his staff are now dedicated to mentoring and teaching the youth in Detroit about the importance of education, maturing as young adults, and leading them down a path to have success on and off the court. Derrick also serves as the President of the NBA Alumni Michigan Chapter.
In high school, Coleman was a talented 6’10 forward from Detroit Northern that could score inside and out, was a tenacious rebounder, an intimidating defender and shot blocker, and had rare guard-like ball-handling skills for a player his size. He was considered by many at an early age to be a future pro.
Derrick was a 2-time All-Detroit PSL and All-State performer and was a Mr.Basketball finalist his senior season. Before his high school career was over, he became a household name nationally and was arguably the best Power Forward in the country in the 1986 recruiting class. He proved he was destined for greatness when he scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the McDonald’s All-American game.
Derrick was introduced to NBA Hall-of-Famer Dave Bing by his high school coach when he was 15-years old. Bing, a Syracuse alum, helped mentor Derrick on and off the court and became the father figure in his life that was instrumental in his early development. Their relationship was also a reason Derrick chose Syracuse University as his college destination. They are still close friends to this day and Bing continues to be a strong mentor for Derrick.
In his four years at Syracuse from 1986-1990, Coleman became the symbol of some of the strongest and most-feared teams in Syracuse history. He helped his team to a school record 114 wins during that era.
As a freshman, he started all 38 games and was the Big East Freshman of the year. He also helped his team advance to the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history. Although his team lost to Indiana, Derrick grabbed 19 rebounds in the championship game. This was an NCAA freshman tournament record.
During his time at Syracuse, he earned All-Big East honors three times and was the Big East Player of the Year and 1st Team All-American during his senior season. He ended his career as Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
Derrick started off his NBA career as the 1st overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1991 and was an NBA All-Star in 1994. His first 5 seasons in the NBA, Derrick averaged 20 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Coleman spent 15 years in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76’ers, Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons. Derrick scored 12,884 career points and had 7,232 career rebounds.
Derrick was also a key member of the 1994 Olympic Gold Medal team, “Dream Team II”. The “Dream Team II” was one of the best basketball teams ever assembled in the United States.