By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Cascade’s Kenna Coleman came a long way from the goggle-wearing days on the courts of Cascade Middle School as she sat in the new gym lobby Wednesday afternoon, signing her Letter of Intent to play basketball at Warner Pacific University this upcoming season.
It wasn’t though, until her sophomore year that Coleman really came onto the scene. With a relatively young core returning that year, two years removed from the 4A State Runner-Up run they had, Coleman knew that someone needed to step up to help out the squad that year.
“It felt good because at the time our team needed someone like that and we needed someone like that. I felt like me being more aggressive led to the team being more aggressive, so it really helped our team,” Coleman said.
Mark Stevens, who coached Coleman the past four years before stepping down following this past season, spoke to the work that Coleman had put in to make sure she was able to fill a crucial role that they needed.
“As in school, you got to start prioritizing. If you’re going to be good in math, you got to put your time in. If you’re going to be good in here (basketball), you got to put your time in here and usually that shows up,” Stevens starts. “And she did. I’m big with the kids want to and not because the coaches’ finger is wagging at them.
“I’ll visit with her. Rebounding for her and she’ll be talking about ‘I came in on Sunday and I went over here’. They plug in their own time.”
This past year Coleman was a first team All Oregon West Conference selection, joining teammate Ariel Tobiasson, as the Cougars went 19-5 overall and reached the 4A State Final Site. There were games that Coleman led Cascade in scoring, lending a hand whenever she could as she hopes to carry the momentum of the last three years into college now.
“I can’t get scared and I just have to play like I know how,” Coleman said.
Coleman will major in Elementary Education while in college in hopes of becoming a teacher after her college days are over.
“I like little kids. I like working with them. Growing up my nieces and nephews are like my little siblings basically, so I’ve made a connection with little kids, and I want to help other little kids,” Coleman said of her career path.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald