COLLEGE BASKETBALL: OWEGO'S COLEMAN INKS NLI TO PLAY AT BINGHAMTON (2020-11-15)
BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
VESTAL — Owego standout Evee Coleman has turned a verbal commitment to play Division I basketball into a written obligation.
The senior, who committed to continue her career and education at Binghamton University in mid-May, signed her National Letter of Intent to become a Bearcat during the Early Signing Period last week.
BU's basketball atmosphere and the school's location were key selling points for Coleman.
"Binghamton attracted me because of the family-like program they have," she said. "I also love that they are close to home, and my friends and family can come watch me play."
"Genevieve is a dynamic post player that can play inside and out," BU head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord said in a press release. "She has great touch around the rim and can stretch the floor with her shooting ability."
The 6-foot-1 forward was named the Tioga County Defensive Player of the Year by tiogacountysportsreport.com as a sophomore in 2019 and garnered the honor again this past season.
Coleman is a two-time New York State Sportswriters Association all-state pick and two-time Southern Tier Athletic Conference all-star. She was also selected to the pressconnects.com Elite 10 team and the Basketball Coaches of New York Section IV All-Star team as a sophomore and junior.
Last season, Coleman averaged 20.2 points and 13 rebounds per game, as well as 2.9 blocks, 2.1 steals and 1.9 assists. During her sophomore season, she averaged 17.1 points, 10.4 boards, 3.3 blocks and 1.8 steals per contest. She also set school records for blocked shots in a game (10) and a season (65), and established a new single-season school mark by hitting 62 percent of her field goal attempts as a sophomore.
Coleman has also spent several years competing for BNY Select in the AAU ranks.
She excels in the classroom as well, having been named a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete. The vice president of the Class of 2021, she is currently ranked third in the class and also attends Tompkins Cortland Community College through the duel enrollment program.
Indians head coach Luke McEvoy applauded the impact Coleman has had on the program at Owego.
"Evee's impact on our program is extensive," he said. "It starts with her embodying everything a coach could want or ask for in a team/program leader. I say team and program because she not only sets the tone for our team, but for every player in our program all the way down to our youth players. Evee gives of herself and her knowledge spending time working with our youth players and younger players on our school teams. They all look up to and listen to the advice she shares.
"In school, she has challenged herself with a demanding course load and will graduate with high honors and numerous college/AP credits, while also being involved in music, school clubs and other extracurricular activities.
"On the court, she is and has been the vocal and emotional leader of our team for the past few seasons. Her focus, effort and determination are unrivaled. These attributes not only allowed her to work her way back from various injuries, but are the exact reasons why she will be playing at BU. She has put in the time and the work to expand her game and her skill set."
Despite a knee injury which delayed the start of her junior season, Coleman came back strong. The defensive standout was dangerous at the offensive end of the court as well — and it's her all-around game that makes her a good fit for the Binghamton program.
"Evee's versatility will be her biggest advantage and what BU will look to incorporate into their system," McEvoy said. "She has the size and strength to play inside close to the basket, but her athleticism, ball handling and shooting ability also open up her game away from the basket. Evee's well-rounded skill set, her ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor, and the different intangibles that make her an incredible leader are the exact reasons why BU and other schools showed so much interest in her."
Coleman is hopeful that she will be a contributor for the Bearcats, but also knows she can learn from her new teammates.
"I see myself learning from the older players and continuing to work my hardest to win as many games as possible," she said.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to continue to watch her play so close to home," McEvoy added.
Coleman said she's not 100 percent sure what her major will be, but noted Biochemistry is one option. She hopes to become a physical therapist.
The Bearcats are coming off a season in which they went 22-9 overall and graduated just three players, and the 2020-21 roster sports just two seniors.