Norris Coleman

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Not to be confused with 2010s basketball player Norris Cole.
Norris Coleman
Personal information
Born (1961-09-27) September 27, 1961 (age 54)
Jacksonville, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school Paxon (Jacksonville, Florida)
College Kansas State (1985–1987)
NBA draft 1987 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers
Playing career 1987–2001
Position Small forward / Power forward
Career history
1987–1988 Los Angeles Clippers
1987–1988 Pensacola Tornados (CBA)
1988–1989 Olympique d'Antibes (France)
1989–1990 S.A. Ramat Hasharon (Israel)
1990–1991 Caja Madrid (Spain)
1991–1992 Herbalife Gran Canaria (Spain)
1992–1994 Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
1994–1995 Maccabi Tel Aviv
1995–1996 Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
1996–1997 Peñarol Mar del Plata (Argentina)
1997–1998 Maccabi Ramat Gan (Israel)
1998–1999 Maccabi Givat Shmuel (Israel)
1999 Bnei Herzeliya (Israel)
2000–2001 Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)
Career highlights and awards

Norris James Coleman (born September 27, 1961) is an American retired professional basketball player who was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2nd round (38th overall) of the 1987 NBA Draft. A 6'8" forward from Kansas State University, Coleman played in only one NBA season.

Coleman played for the Clippers during the 1987-88 season, appearing in 29 games and scoring a total of 153 points. Following his one season in the NBA, Coleman had a lengthy and successful career in foreign professional basketball leagues, principally in Israel. He played with Hapoel Jerusalem during the 1992-93, 1993–94 and 1995–96 seasons, and with Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 1994-95 season. Coleman continued to play in Israel in numerous teams until his retirement in 2001, with Hapoel Tel Aviv in the second league, at the age of 40.

College career[edit]

Coleman had an unusual collegiate career at Kansas State. Because he had spent five years in the U.S. Army, Coleman was a 24-year-old freshman when he began play at K-State in the 1985-86 basketball season. That season, Coleman led the Big Eight Conference in scoring with 21.8 points per game and pulled down 8 rebounds a game, on the way to being named first-team All-Conference and Newcomer of the Year. In doing so, he became one of the few players to lead his league in scoring during his first season in college.[1] However, near the close of that season, the NCAA found that Coleman had not met the minimum high school requirements and K-State immediately declared him ineligible.[2]

The saga took another twist in April 1986, when the NCAA issued an unusual ruling that said Coleman would have to sit out a year at K-State with no scholarship and surrender a year of eligibility, or transfer to a different school and face no penalties.[3] Coleman immediately received scholarship offers from 25 schools, and took recruiting trips to LSU, the University of Kentucky and the University of Virginia, but eventually decided to stay at Kansas State.[2] Early in the following basketball season, in November 1986, the NCAA reduced its penalty to a 12-game suspension, and Coleman returned to the court for the last 19 games of the 1986-1987 season, teaming with Mitch Richmond to help lead K-State to a berth in the 1987 NCAA tournament.[4] After averaging 20.7 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game and again being named first team All-Conference in his shortened sophomore season, Coleman decided to turn pro.

Because of his career in the Army, Coleman was affectionately nicknamed "The Sarge" by Kansas State fans.


  1. ^ "College Sporting News". Archived from the original on 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  2. ^ a b "'Sarge' Coleman Watching Kansas State Records Fall". The Manhattan Mercury. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  3. ^ "Sports People". New York Times. 1986-04-23. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Sports People: Ruling Accepted". New York Times. 1986-11-26. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 

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