Thursday, November 18, 2010
H.W. Byers senior signs with Troy
By BARRY BURLESON
Kourtney Coleman’s head coach said she has a passion for success on the basketball court and in the classroom.
“She has that extra drive – always giving her best effort – in practice, in the game and in school,” Jason Thompson said.
The only senior on the H.W. Byers team signed a national letter of intent Wednesday, Nov. 10, to play college basketball for Troy University in Alabama.
“Going to a Division I school was a top priority,” Coleman said. “Troy has a great coaching staff and their style of play is like I’m used to here. It won’t be a big transition - just better competition.”
Coleman was recently named to the Clarion-Ledger newspaper’s “Dandy Dozen,” the top 12 girl players in the state. She averaged 18.9 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals per game last season for the Lady Lions, whose season ended at 27-8 in the Class 1A state semi-finals.
She is a four-year starter at Byers. She was a part of back-to-back state championships in 2008 and 2009.
“She has had a magical career,” Coach Thompson said. “The sky’s the limit for her. I’ve challenged her – telling her we will go as far this season as she can take us. We expect to play for a championship this season, and if we do, it will be because of her.”
And on top of her outstanding athletic accomplishments, Coleman also excels in her classwork. She made a 26 on the ACT.
“She puts forth extra effort in all aspects,” Thompson said. “She has a great support system at home.”
Coleman is the daughter of Sylvester and Shonta Kilgore.
Her future coach, Michael Murphy, said he can’t wait for Coleman to get into a Troy uniform. He called her “the complete package.”
“Kourtney (Coleman) is a very committed student and a talented athlete with a strong family foundation,” Murphy said. “She’s everything we want in a student athlete at Troy. She comes from an excellent, well-coached high school program and she understands the meaning of hard work. We feel blessed to have her.”
The H.W. Byers star athlete and student has also made the Marshall County School District administration very proud.
“Courtney is the definition of a student athlete,” said Jerry Moore, deputy superintendent. “I’m proud of what she’s done for our school system and have no doubt that great things await her. She’s one of the most considerate and committed individuals I’ve ever met.”
Coleman said she thinks she can contribute immediately for Troy.
“I’m a hard worker,” she said. “If I work as hard as I have here (at Byers), I will be fine in college, too.”
She said her years at Byers have been the best years of her life.
“Coach Thompson is one of the greatest coaches I could ever imagine,” Coleman said. “He is like another father to me. I give him a lot of the credit for my success. Once I leave here, I will be calling him every five minutes, like I do now when I have questions.”
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