Everyone loves a success story.
There’s nothing that makes the heart feel warmer than hearing the story of an athlete that overcame insurmountable odds to turn their life into something meaningful and successful, whether it be on the court, on the field or in the classroom. It is valuable and important to highlight the fact that putting in hard work can pay off in the long run.
But it’s just as important to highlight what happens when someone gets lost on the path to success. It may not be as good of a read, but cautionary tales need to be told.
We’ve got two of them today, as Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com dug up the destinations of two misfits from the Class of 2010.
The first is Justin Coleman. Coleman was a top 50 recruit that originally committed to Louisville but was declared academically ineligible for the 2010-2011 season. He ended up enrolling at Marshall, which is in the same West Virginia town as Huntington Prep, where Coleman spent his final year of high school. But Coleman didn’t last long there. He was suspended in late December for texting while on the bench during a loss to Belmont (seriously) and was eventually booted from the team a month later, just 19 days after being reinstated to the team.
Coleman will be spending next year at Midland Junior College in Texas.
The other name in the news is Jelan Kendrick. Kendrick was a McDonald’s All-American in 2010 and initially enrolled at Memphis. But after a series of issues during his limited time with the Tigers, Kendrick was eventually kicked off the team before ever suiting up for a game. He wound up enrolling at Ole Miss in December of that year, becoming eligible to play for the Rebels at the semester break last season. Things were going OK when Kendrick decided to leave the arena during warmups for a game against Alabama. He eventually returned midway through the first half, but never left the bench — not for timeouts, for second half warmups, for anything.
As you might imagine, Kendrick and Ole Miss parted ways. He’ll be spending next season at Indian Hills JuCo in Iowa.
Kendrick was a McDonald’s All-American, a top 20 recruit nationally that had the talent to one day play in the NBA. Coleman wasn’t quite as highly-regarded coming out of high school, but he was a top 50 recruit. It stands to reason that, given the question marks they had in high school, the recruitniks that put out those rankings had Kendrick and Coleman slotted lower than where their talent level should have gotten them.
Junior College basketball is a long way from Marshall and Ole Miss, let alone Memphis and Louisville.
Remember this. Success is never guaranteed.