First-year point Chase Coleman (Norfolk, Va.) joined the Virginia men’s basketball program as a walk-on in 2019-20. Coleman earned the backup point guard role behind All-ACC performer Kihei Clark and saw action in 17 contests. He helped the Cavaliers to a 23-7 overall record and 15-5 mark in the ACC before the season was canceled due to COVID-19. Hoos Life caught up with Coleman to discuss the impact of the coronavirus, why he chose to attend UVA, his relationship with his brother, Matt, and what’s keeping him busy during the pandemic.
Q: What was your reaction when you learned that the basketball season had been canceled due to COVID-19?
Coleman: I was a little bummed out when I found out the season was canceled because we were playing the right way and were on a positive trend at the right time. It disappointing that we never got closure on the season.
Q: Why did you chose the University of Virginia?
Coleman: I chose UVA because I knew I would get a great education, while meeting awesome people and being able to learn from one of the best coaches in the country.
Q: You earned a prominent backup role behind Kihei Clark as a first-year player. How satisfied were you with your season and how much work did it take to earn that role?
Coleman: It was great playing behind Kihei because he would show me what to do to be successful in the ACC. It took a lot of work to even get a chance to be in the position I was in. I had to prove myself every day since the first day I arrived on Grounds last summer. Coach Bennett says he didn’t know how good I really was, but I had to prove it since I was the smallest person on the floor.
Q: What is it like going head-to-head with Kihei every day in practice?
Coleman: It was fun going against Kihei in practice every day. He was one of the best defenders I’ve ever played with and he’s really crafty. Some days were tougher than others, but I knew we were only trying to make each other better.
Q: Where are you living and how are your online classes going?
Coleman: I’m living at home in Norfolk and online classes are going well. It’s very different from being on Grounds and going to class though.
Q: What are your goals for the 2020-21 season and how are you preparing?
Coleman: My personal goals for the 20-21 season are to soak in as much information as possible to become a better player and future coach, while making my teammates better. As a team, I want to win a national championship and show that we are the best team in the country. I’m preparing by working on my craft and trying to get stronger every day, along with starting a journal.
Q: Your brother Matt is a point guard at Texas. Can you describe your relationship with Matt and tell us what it was like growing up and playing against him?
Coleman: My brother Matt and I are close. We grew up in the gym together and the one-on-one games were intense.
Q: You have aspirations of going into coaching after graduation. What is it about that profession that intrigues you?
Coleman: I grew up watching and playing for my father. I just always felt that coaching and teaching the game came easier to me than playing.
Q: What are your best memories of your first year at UVA?
Coleman: One of my best memories at UVA has to be the night a couple friends from the men’s and women’s soccer team and women’s lacrosse team had a dance revolution night. Another would be hanging in the locker room and playing cards with my teammates.
Q: What else are you doing during this time at home?
Coleman: During the quarantine, I am playing a lot of card games and video games including the Wii (still undefeated in every game on Wii sports since I’ve been home).
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