Elyssa Coleman is a redshirt freshman from Houston, Texas. She transferred to UTSA after signing and attending UT Austin out of Atascocita high school. Coleman was ranked as the #12 forward in the 2020 high school class (ESPN). She had an impressive first year with UTSA. Her breakout game came in the CUSA tournament against UTEP with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Elyssa took some time out of her busy student athlete schedule to answer some questions for the Runners Rising Project. See the full Q&A below.
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RRP: How tough was the transition from UT to UTSA?
Coleman: Going through the coaching change at UT was pretty rough for me, but ever since I got to UTSA I have been happy since I finally am being able to be coached by Coach Karen who is the original coach that I signed to in the first place.
RRP: Who was your favorite pro player growing up? Now?
Coleman: My favorite player growing up was Dennis Rodman, and it still is Dennis Rodman overall for the men’s side but now I have really started to like Liz Cambage’s game.
RRP: Did you play other sports growing up or just focus on basketball? If you did play other sports, do you think that helped you be a better basketball player?
Coleman: I played volleyball from middle school up until junior year. That helped me in basketball when it comes to timing of things, but most importantly for me, blocks.
RRP: Do you think of yourself as a leader?
Coleman: I was in high school, but as a freshman and a new person on this team, I think I am just now starting to get into that role here at UTSA.
RRP: What was your recovery process following your knee injury?
Coleman: Since it was my second time going through this process and knowing the timeline, I think that made it easier for me to go through rehab and work as hard as I did because I knew how the end goal would vary all on how rehab went. It was a struggle at times, but it only helped me grow as an athlete and as a person.
RRP: What’s it like playing for Coach Aston? What made you decide to follow her to UTSA?
Coleman: I love playing for Coach Aston, I think I decided to follow her here because she is for sure a people person and you can tell that she genuinely cares for her players on and off the court. I also chose her because she is very hard nose at times, and I know that she will constantly push me to my limits to reach my potential.
RRP: What are your favorite things about San Antonio? Do you have any favorite restaurants?
Coleman: I love Mexican Food, so I am constantly trying all the taco trucks that I come across.
RRP: What are 3 things you would like fans to know about you away from basketball?
Coleman: I am a sociology major with a public health minor, so after basketball I want to do counseling work for youth and things of that sort. I am a music fanatic, from Amy Winehouse to Etta James, to J. Cole. I have two cat children, Cudi (named after Kid Cudi), and Solana (named after SZA)
RRP: What are your thoughts on the CROWN Act passing the house, and what do you think it’s potential impact will be?
Coleman: I think black people are constantly being told that their natural features are distracting so to have this act pass and have legal repercussions against these actions is amazing!
RRP: What are your 2 main goals for the off-season?
Coleman: Become more of a 3-level scorer & become physically and mentally stronger
RRP: Do you have any team goals going into next season? What would you consider to be a successful season?
Coleman: My goal is always to go to the NCAA tournament, but other than that I would consider a successful season if we win against our overall conference.