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Coleman, Kelly

College Player



Kelly Coleman was a member of the Portland High School girls’ basketball team which came up short — on a buzzer-beater, no less — in the 2010 Class S state championship game at Mohegan Sun Arena. Coleman thought at that time the chances of making a return trip to the Sun the following season were slim.

What followed in Coleman’s basketball career has been remarkable. The Highlanders won the 2011 state championship back at Mohegan Sun, the only title in program history. Coleman graduated as Portland’s all-time leading scorer (1,639 points). She went on to earn Commonwealth Coast Conference Player of the Year and fourth team Division III All-America honors her senior year at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. And she’s now settled back in as the head coach at Portland with her mom, Diane, as her assistant coach.

“My current goal in coaching would be to help grow Portland High School’s program to what it once was, instilling not only basketball skills in my athletes but also life skills to make them successful on and off the court,” Coleman said.

“I’m told that I wasn’t very interested in basketball when I was very young, as my mom kept asking me if I wanted to play. I finally agreed to play in fourth grade but only if she would be my coach. The rest is history.”

At the University of New England, Coleman, a 5-foot-10 forward, played in the Division III NCAA tournament all four years, including a 32-point performance in the opening round of the 2014 tournament against NYU.

The Nor’easters were 98-20 in her four seasons with a regular-season CCC record of 67-5 and three league championships. The 2013 season marked UNE’s first-ever win in the NCAA tournament, beating Bridgewater State 67-58.

Coleman finished her college career with 1,508 points (5th in program history), 763 rebounds (8th), the fifth-most free throws with 362 and the most points (32), rebounds (14), field goals (12) and free throws (8) ever by a UNE player in an NCAA tournament game. Coleman was an All-CCC first team selection three times and was selected to the Maine Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association All-Rookie Team as a freshman.

An exercise science major as an undergraduate, Coleman, a Portland resident, also received her Ph.D. in physical therapy and is now a physical therapist with Fox Rehab. She is honored to have played at Portland for Nick Chaconis, who coached at the school for more than 40 years, and lists her “Papa” Ed Moskey and her mom as the greatest influences in her career. Diane Coleman will serve as her daughter’s presenter as she is inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

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