Happy Ending

Back in December Southeast Missouri Head Coach Rick Ray ostracized and shooed LaDarius Coleman and Marcus Wallace from “his” program.  Erin Unerstall reported extensively on it, OVCHoops.com expanded a touch.  Jay Bilas mentioned it on Twitter, sharing the egregious move with a national audience.

They suffered emotionally, mentally.  Despite an enforced hibernation the duo are back.  Better yet, they are preparing for their season.  In fact, Wallace and Coleman will play Day One.

“At season opening in November first game is in Los Angeles in a big tournament,” said Coleman’s father, Darian Coleman.
Considering how quickly, callously Coach Ray bounced them from their program and ostensibly the college, the resurgence is mind-blowing.  It was just eight months ago that both families were incredulous and lost.
OVCHoops.com talked with fathers of both young men at the time.
“Ladarius is emotionally distraught right now because this came as such a shock to him,” said Darian Coleman in December 2015 to OVCHoops.com.  “Emotionally, at this point, when your son has played ball since the eighth grade comes to you and says, ‘I don’t even know if I want to do this anymore.  It is like he is stealin’ something from my thunder.’  That angers me, cause his whole dream of going to school and playing ball is all he spoke about.”
The boys were despondent.  They were unsure how to proceed.  They understand fighting for a starting spot.  But, who ever plans on fighting for a transfer landing spot, midway through your sophomore season?
Frankly, it could have been the end of their careers.

The Turnaround

“They may be granted their year back,” said Coleman Monday afternoon.
What?!  These were outcasts.  Sure, college transfers usually find a home, but these guys were expected to lose at least a half season of eligibility in the transition, possibly a full year.
“Yes sir, all of the paperwork has been filed and SEMO actually wrote good recommendations for both gentlemen to obtain their seasons back,” said Coleman.
Not only did Coleman land with University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS), but former Southeast Missouri teammate and now lifelong friend Marcus Wallace is on board.
“Yes and they are happy !!! He’s at UAFS as well they’re roommates,” said Coleman’s father.
Last season Arkansas-Fort Smith finished 21-9, 14-6 with a sparkling 13-1 home record.  They ran out 6-9 deep.
“Team workouts start October 15th,” said UAFS Director of Sports Information Jonathan Gipson.  “Individual workouts will start some time next week.”
Marcus Wallace and LaDarius Coleman will be suited up, ready to prove a doubter wrong.
“Hopefully they will be success stories for upcoming students whom endure similar situations,” said Darian Coleman.

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