Five weeks ago, no Division I basketball program had offered Chris Coalmon a scholarship.
Then Stony Brook offered one on June 18. Bryant, Wagner and LIU Brooklyn of the Northeast Conference followed after watching Long Island Lutheran’s 6-7 combo forward play for the New York Jayhawks, a Queens-based AAU program, during the first week of the July live recruiting period.
And the interest in Coalmon, a rising senior, seems as if it won’t stop growing. Though there is no offer on the table yet, Illinois State entered the mix Monday with a phone call to Jayhawks program director Jay David. The Redbirds compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, a league that is a step above the America East and NEC and frequently sends multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament.
“He’s just becoming more aggressive,” said David, who also coaches Coalmon as a Lutheran assistant. “He’s working out at Long Island Lutheran during the days when he’s not practicing with us. He’s getting a lot of work there. He’s getting a lot of work here. He’s being very aggressive. He’s not forcing any shot. He’s being very cerebral as he stays aggressive.”
Coalmon credited his consistently aggressive approach for helping him impress coaches. It’s a fairly new mindset for Coalmon, who said David taught him staying active would help offset poor-shooting days.
“Now I’m just playing relentless and having fun with it,” Coalmon said.
In four games at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in South Carolina from July 6-9, Coalmon averaged 18 points and 5.3 rebounds and shot 57 percent from the field. David said Coalmon displayed his reliable midrange jumper, but the wing also converted three of his six three-point attempts.
The representatives from the NEC programs noted Coalmon’s all-around play.
At the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest in Pennsylvania last weekend, Coalmon impressed Illinois State.
He will have another chance to stand out this week. From Wednesday through Sunday, the Jayhawks will compete in the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas.
“Hopefully when I go out to Vegas I can continue playing my game and get more schools interested in me,” Coalmon said. “I’m happy I got offers, even from the small schools, because it’s more about the right fit.”
David said former St. Mary’s standout C.J. Kelly, who transferred to Queens High School of Teaching before the 2015-16 school year, has had a solid summer for the Jayhawks. ESPN recruiting analyst Adam Finkelstein tweeted the Class of 2017 wing had a “good showing in front of numerous coaches” at the Summer Jam Fest last week.
Stony Brook offered Kelly a scholarship in April.
Braithwaite drawing interest
Center Moriches’ Sean Braithwaite (Class of 2019) has received interest from Hofstra and St. Peter’s, according to Red Devils and LI Elite coach Nick Thomas. Steve Pikiell’s staff at Stony Brook also had expressed interest, but new coach Jeff Boals and Co. have not reached out yet.
The 6-4 Braithwaite, who turned 15 in January, played every position from point guard to center as a freshman for the Red Devils’ varsity squad and averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists.