Mr. Basketball award the fitting finish for West Nassau’s Deebo Coleman

West Nassau's Deebo Coleman (far left), was presented with the Mr. Basketball award on Tuesday.
West Nassau's Deebo Coleman (far left), was presented with the Mr. Basketball award on Tuesday. (News4Jax)

CALLAHAN, Fla. – Deebo Coleman tried one final crossover in front of the home crowd on Tuesday afternoon.

He couldn’t pull it off.

It’s a time-honored tradition for athletes who are voted as the top high school athletes to take a swig of milk as they’re presented with their award by the Florida Dairy Farmers. Coleman, West Nassau’s stellar senior shooting guard and the state’s Mr. Basketball award winner, wanted to change up the routine.

“I definitely wanted the chocolate milk. I’m a big fan of chocolate milk,” Coleman said.

Quite the career for West Nassau's Mr. Basketball Deebo Coleman
Quite the career for West Nassau's Mr. Basketball Deebo Coleman

For one of the few times in his career, Coleman couldn’t pull something off on the basketball court. He drank the traditional cup of milk, sported the milk mustache and officially joined one of the most exclusive clubs in state history.

Coleman, a Georgia Tech signee, is the second consecutive local winner of Mr. Basketball, following Paxon’s Isaiah Adams, and just the third area selection overall. Jackson product James Collins was the 1993 winner.

“It means a lot,” he said. “This was one of my individual goals coming down here, to win Mr. Basketball, so accomplishing it is definitely a dream come true.”

Coleman scored 2,539 career points, second in area history to only Fletcher product Myron Anthony (2,738). He averaged 24.7 points, 9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in his final season for the 20-12 Warriors, who reached the Class 4A state semifinals for the first time in program history. West Nassau dropped a 64-63 heartbreaker to Santa Fe as time was running out.

Coleman said that hearing those lofty career point totals and some of the players that he passed along the way didn’t seem realistic when he started out.

“I didn’t think it would end like this,” he said. “But after my sophomore season, my dad was telling me that if kept at the pace I was doing I could break some of those records. I just kept the same pace. Actually, I overachieved the pace I was at and it put me in the situation I’m in now.”


About the Authors: