After a promising freshman year with the Binghamton women’s basketball team, forward Genevieve Coleman is ready to take her next steps with the program as she begins her sophomore season as a Bearcat. As a freshman, she proved to be a reliable piece in Binghamton head coach Bethann Shapiro Ord’s squad, being one of only six players to appear in all 29 of BU’s games last year. She backed that consistency up on the court as well, amassing the team’s fourth-highest block total with 10 and shooting 45.3 percent from the field, ranking third on the team.

Prior to her freshman success at BU, Coleman began playing basketball at a young age after taking inspiration from her father, Michael Coleman, who played at the University of Rochester. She credits her success and love for the game of basketball to her father.

“I first started playing basketball when I was around 4 or 5,” Coleman said. “My father played in college at [University of Rochester], so ever since I was young he would put a ball in my hand. I always wanted to play and be like my dad, so I picked it up early. I played on a team when I was in second grade, and I was playing on a sixth-grade team. My whole life I was just surrounded by the game.”

As a senior in high school at Oswego Free Academy in Oswego, New York, Coleman averaged 20.2 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. She continued her success in college, not only being named the America East (AE) Rookie of the Week on three separate occasions but also achieving an America East All-Rookie Team selection for her overall performance throughout the year. Coleman, who managed to score double figures three times last year, says that playing college ball so close to home has motivated her.

“After every game, having my whole family there and hearing them cheer me on every game, I love that feeling,” Coleman said. “It does motivate me for sure.”

Coleman sits as the only true sophomore on Binghamton’s current roster, and is one of six returning Bearcats to play in any games last season. Her experience under Shapiro Ord allows her to become more of a focal point for the team this season. Despite earning an increased role for BU going into her sophomore year, Coleman’s main focus still remains on the team’s success.

“As a team, we’re just trying to win more games overall,” Coleman said. “Some games last year were really close toward the end, and we ended up on the downside. This year, with the team we have and the determination, I’m hoping that we’ll end up on the upend, and we’ll end up pulling wins. I hope to support my teammates, like if I get a good pass and put the bucket in, and just be reliable.”

Although Coleman is focused on the team’s success, she has also sought to improve her own game this offseason. Coleman learned the game of basketball from her father and has modeled her game accordingly.

“I’ve worked a lot more on my outside shot,” Coleman said. “Shooting more threes for sure and just more post moves. I’m working on more shoulder fakes, up-and-unders and more fast moves … I would say my dad taught me everything I know. I use a lot of the same moves that he used when he was in school.”