An important man: Shepparton Gators import Spencer Coleman is already getting noticed around town.

February 24, 2018

An important man: Shepparton Gators import Spencer Coleman is already getting noticed around town.

Shepparton Gators coach Leigh Bathman wants import Spencer Coleman to play above his size.

Already standing 201cm that could be a huge advantage but it is necessary in order to compete against the best in the competition.

Cameron’s scoring power will be appreciated in a Gators side which has experienced a host of roster changes this season.

But Bathman said Coleman and fellow import Cameron Vines have had no issues gelling with the side so far.

‘‘I think its exciting, anytime you get new people into your program and see how they fit in, both of these guys are gentlemen and have fitted in well already,’’ he said.

Like imports before him Coleman, 25, has already been noticed around town.

‘‘They see this tall, black guy with an American accent (and think) ‘I don’t think he’s from around here so they do assume — and assume right — that you are a Gators import, but they’re very friendly and it’s a good ice breaker,’’ he said.

Coleman is used to the Australian way of life, having competed in the Darwin Basketball Association with the Uni Rebels.

In the Northern Territory, his 35 points in the preliminary final sent the Rebels into the decider, only to go down to Essington.

In a mark of consistency, Coleman played all 24 games for the season to score 702 points at an average of 29.25 a game.

Having grown up in Oregon and played basketball at Northwest Christian College as well as Montana University during his college years, Shepparton is just another place to become familiar with.

‘‘It’s definitely a lot different to where I’m from and Darwin is even a little bit different to here,’’ Coleman said.

‘‘People are a little different, not worse, just different, but I definitely enjoy both places.

‘‘I think being in Australia helped, so when I came here it’s easier to adjust, so you feel a lot more comfortable at first and with Leigh and his family and the team you feel welcome.’’

Coleman had an affinity for plenty of sports at school before settling on basketball.

‘‘I played a lot of sports growing up but specifically I played football in high school as well as doing a bit of track,’’ he said.

‘‘I really enjoy football but you just kind of gradually drift towards the things you’re most comfortable with.’’

With plenty of eyes always on what the imports can produce during the Big V competition, Coleman is aiming to impress the crowds at Shepparton Sports Stadium this year.

‘‘I’m happy to be here and happy for this experience and its started off well so hopefully I can live up to expectations and more and make the most of this great opportunity.’’

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