Family, friends mourn death of high school basketball player - - The News for South Mississippi

Family, friends mourn death of high school basketball player


A DeKalb County teen basketball star collapsed and died Sunday night. Now friends and family are left to mourn the loss of a young man who left the world too soon.

There is little doubt that Terrell Coleman had the natural gifts to do amazing things on the basketball court.

But people who knew the ninth-grader said it was the person he was off the court that endeared him to so many.

"The kid was just fun to be around. He was a kid with a good spirit and he was hard-working," said Demond Stephens, who coached Coleman.

Stephens is a coach with the Atlanta Celtics, an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team that features some of the best high school players in Metro Atlanta.

Stephens coached the Miller Grove High School prodigy at a camp this summer, and planned to coach him on a traveling team later this year.

"I was calling him 'Smiles' the whole week at the Josh Smith camp. We were there for like, four days, and I interacted with him. He was always smiling the whole week. Getting in there early, staying late. I didn't get anything but a good spirit from the kid," Stephens said.

Coleman was rated one of the 15 best freshman basketball players in the country. One recruiting service said his talents were light years ahead of players his age. It also said the most impressive thing about him was that he was well-mannered and very humble.
Coleman, however, will never achieve the goals he and others set for him.

Sunday night, he died playing the game he loved.

"A friend of mine named Wallace Tucker called and was like, 'Check and make sure what I heard is not true.' I said, 'What is going on?' He said, 'Someone said Coleman collapsed and died.' I said, 'No way', because I just had a big meeting about him playing. But it was true," said Stephens.

At this point it is not clear what caused Coleman's death, but Stephens said one thing is clear - the world lost a good young man.

"Hopefully, something good will come out of all this. God always has a plan. Hopefully, something good is going to come out of it to motivate another kid to never take a moment for granted. You just can't take anything for granted," Stephens said.

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