Sunday, June 8, 2014

International Basketball Player and Writer Coleman Collins

Coleman Collins was a stand-out basketball player in college and might have had a shot at the NBA if he’d stuck around and worked his way up through the D-league. But he chose to take his talents to Europe instead, where he could see the world and make a good living in the process. Over the last 6 years, he’s played for teams in France, Germany, Bosnia, Ukraine and Bahrain. Coleman’s not only an elite baller but also an incisive writer, reporting on his travels and cross-cultural experiences for ESPN’s TrueHoop blog. After reading his terrific essay on encountering the N-word in Bosnia, I was determined to talk to him. We discussed his dual life as athlete and writer/cultural commentator, what it’s like to be an African-American in places where that’s a novelty, cutting through stereotypes, basketball culture in Europe and the Middle East, and race at home and abroad.

Coleman’s Instagram account and website.

Here’s a link to Ta-Nahisi Coates’ essay The Case for Reparations, one of the topics touched on in our conversation.

Click the play arrow above to hear the interview, or the download icon on the upper right to get your own mp3.

Not many guys can really rock lederhosen, but Coleman Collins can.