DaJuan Coleman and Derrick Coleman are two of the most successful basketball players to come out of Syracuse University. They both played as power forwards for the Orange, and they both wore the number 44 jersey. But are they related by blood? The answer is no. Despite sharing the same last name and playing position, DaJuan and Derrick are not related to each other.
DaJuan Coleman: A Local Hero with a Challenging Career
DaJuan Coleman was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1992. He started playing varsity basketball as a freshman at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, where he led his team to four consecutive state championships. He was ranked as one of the top recruits in the nation, and he chose to stay in his hometown and play for Syracuse University.
Coleman had a promising start to his college career, averaging 4.8 points and 4 rebounds per game as a freshman. However, he suffered multiple injuries that limited his playing time and hampered his development. He underwent knee surgery in his sophomore year, which forced him to miss the rest of the season. He also missed the entire 2014-15 season due to another knee surgery. He returned for his senior year in 2016-17, but he only played in 24 games, averaging 5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Coleman graduated from Syracuse with a bachelor’s degree in child and family studies and a master’s degree in instructional design. He pursued a professional career overseas, signing with KK Zlatorog Laško of the Slovenian League 1 in 2019. He was joined by his former Syracuse teammate, Kaleb Joseph, on the same team.
Derrick Coleman: A Phenomenal Talent with a Controversial Reputation
Derrick Coleman was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1967. He grew up and attended high school in Detroit, Michigan, where he was a dominant player. He enrolled at Syracuse University in 1986, where he became one of the best players in the country. He averaged 16.8 points and 12 rebounds per game in his four-year career, and he finished as the NCAA’s top modern-day rebounder and Syracuse’s career scoring leader.
Coleman was selected as the first overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets. He had an impressive rookie season, averaging 18.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, and winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award. He made his only All-Star appearance in 1994, when he averaged 20.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He also earned two All-NBA Third Team selections in 1993 and 1994.
Coleman played for five different teams in his 15-year NBA career: the Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Charlotte Hornets, the Detroit Pistons, and briefly for the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for his career, but he never reached his full potential due to injuries and attitude problems. He was often criticized for being lazy, selfish, and unmotivated on and off the court.
Coleman retired from basketball in 2005. He became a developer and entrepreneur in Detroit, where he invested in real estate projects and community initiatives. He also worked as a studio analyst for NBA TV’s “NBA Gametime Live” coverage.
Conclusion: Two Different Paths for Two Different Colemans
DaJuan Coleman and Derrick Coleman are both Syracuse legends who wore the same number and played the same position. However, they are not related by blood or by personality. DaJuan is a humble and hard-working player who faced adversity due to injuries. Derrick is a talented and charismatic player who faced criticism due to his behavior. They both have their own stories and achievements that make them unique and memorable.