Kenrick — A Conversation with Kenrick Mark Coleman Features Jared Chatham
The Kenrick Mark Coleman Foundation
“Intelligence, Discipline, Wisdom, Excellence”
Kenrick – A Conversation with Kenrick Mark Coleman Features Jared Chatham
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jared Chatham. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Unlike most people from LA, I am a Belizean citizen, so the Belizean culture is deeply rooted in me. I came from a single-parent household and was raised by my Mother, who is also Belizean. Coming from a place like LA, and being raised in a single-parent family is a common thing, but it often leads to the younger generation stepping into the gangbanging culture. Growing up without a father played a huge role in my life because I’m still learning what it’s like to be a man based on my experiences. I could have quickly taken the gangbanging route, but I knew deep down that this wasn’t me. I would have let my family down. Growing up in a place like LA is complicated because you’re exposed to drugs and violence at a very early age, and if you don’t find an outlet which is positive and meaningful to your future, it can be very challenging. Through the grace of God, I found my outlet early, and it opened so many doors for me which I couldn’t even imagine.
2. You are a young and vibrant basketball player. What do you believe is important in this your role?
In the early years of playing basketball, mostly everyone relied heavily on their physical capabilities, which took many people far. Once you reach a certain point, basketball is much more than what you can do physically, which is why most people don’t last. As you get older, basketball is more of an internal thing, and I say internal because most people would say basketball is all mental. Although that is true when you need to perform, you must find ways to cut off all of your thoughts from media and everyone’s opinions and leave it all on the floor.
3. Tell us more about your involvement in basketball? Can you share a little history of your participation in this sporting discipline (growing up as a young man)? What’s the most demanding obstacle?
I started playing basketball very early, but I didn’t begin to take it seriously until around eight when my Mom first signed me up for a park league. My Mom knew from the start that basketball was something I truly loved because whenever I needed discipline, it would be the first thing she would take away. Growing up, basketball was my outlet from everything around me; it was the only thing that kept my head straight from a place as dark as LA. It was very challenging because I never had anyone to prepare for basketball when it became more of a job. Of course, I’ve had coaches that got me where I am today, but unlike most people, I didn’t have a proper person of influence in the basketball world to prepare me for what college was like and then the pros. Everything which I am learning is based on my own experiences.
4. Your upcoming reputation in basketball speaks volumes. What are some of your greatest accomplishments? Can you share a story of your life as a professional player in Denmark?
My most significant accomplishments were in college, where I scored 953 career points and grabbed over 500 rebounds. I was the first player in the last 25 years to score 35+ points and grab 15+ points in a game shooting 60% from the field and 100% from the free-throw line while only having one turnover.
Life as a professional has been pretty challenging. With it being my first year, I’ve had to adjust to the style of play here in Europe and, of course, the physicality. The club is excellent. I have amazing teammates and a coach who believes in my true potential and works with me to bring that out. The training has been next level. I’ve been perfecting my craft every day. I’m getting more robust, and most importantly, I’m enjoying every second of the grind. Horsens, Denmark, isn’t the most prominent city, but it is a very safe and quiet place in the countryside of Denmark. The food has been great, and there are many healthier options than food in America.
5. What are the challenges you had over the years? Opportunities?
The biggest challenge which I’ve had was, of course, getting my college degree as a student-athlete. Another huge challenge which might have taught me my most significant lessons was my first three years of playing college basketball. I didn’t play for the best coaches and eventually underwent a coaching change. It was tough on me because I played for a coach that did everything to kill my confidence as a player. I had to do everything his way, and it wasn’t making me a better player or preparing me for the next level. Now that I’m at the pro level, I’m unlearning many things from that coach and finally becoming the player I was always capable of becoming. Another challenge was learning sacrifice; throughout my years in college, I’ve always had to sacrifice playing my natural position so that I can play a role in helping the team.
6. Can you share your experiences preparing, participating and celebrating with the basketball teams you signed with?
Throughout my years in college, the preparation and participation haven’t been easy because, as student-athletes, we had so much to worry about. Completing our school work was the top priority; besides finishing our school work, we had practice every day, games, travel, and just a lot of stress, mental and physical. Preparation and participation as a pro has been great because I’m getting paid to play, and I have so much free time that I don’t have much to worry about except staying healthy. Regarding celebrations in college, I didn’t have much success, and if we did win a big game, we would have a team dinner. With it being my first year as a pro, we haven’t had much to celebrate yet, but when we do have a big win, we celebrate by drinking some cold beers with one another.
7. In one of my recent articles, I stated: ‘It is important to realize that majority of Belize’s younger populations continue to be very mediocre as it relates to becoming holistically educated and cultured, personally and professionally.’ What’s your perspective on this? What is your personal definition of discipline and excellence?
I genuinely believe that this statement is valid because many Belizeans don’t have the people to motivate them to achieve their dreams. The people around us want us to be more “realistic” with ourselves instead of motivating us to achieve what we want in this life. I believe that many of us don’t have the support, so we settle for what looks right in the eyes of others. In reality, we’re not happy when we settle because we’re not doing what we want to do or love to do.
All we need in this life is for someone to believe in our dreams and that we can achieve them.
Also, a lack of resources may be a problem. That is the huge reason why the younger population tends to be mediocre.
My definition of discipline is building that routine toward what you want in this life. Sometimes you may not want to get up and do things, but you must develop that discipline to understand that someone else may be working harder than you and that every day is a step toward what you truly want out of this life. I believe that excellence comes from the detail of your work. Excellence is spending every single day working on your craft, no matter how repetitive it may be. Greatness comes down to the point and quality of what you’re trying to pursue in this life.
8. Can you share a story of your tenure at high school and college? Did you receive a scholarship?
My time in high school was life-changing. I attended and graduated from George Washington Preparatory High School in the heart of South Central. I am truly blessed to have made it out of that school, graduated, and had a good SAT score to attend a D1 school. I say high school was life-changing because Washington was and still is one of the worst schools to go to in LA simply because the neighborhood surrounding the school was perilous. A large gang area covers it, so shootings and school lockdowns were common. Although I do have to say going to Washington was a blessing because seeing and being surrounded by much violence helped me realize that I didn’t want to be in LA any longer, and I worked ten times harder to make sure I got out and made it to college.
Coming out of high school, I had four basketball scholarships, three D2s, and a D1. My school list was Humboldt State, Cal Poly Pomona, and Cal State Eastbay. I took my only D1 offer from the University of Central Arkansas.
College was great, but the mix between basketball and school was very stressful. Academically, I had a great experience. The professors were great, and I’ve met many people through my major that I still have close relationships with today. The best moments of my college experience were the house parties and something that we call welcome week when all the new students come, and we party all week. Homecoming week was also a great experience, but we could never do too much with it being in the middle of the season.
9. In your bio, you mentioned that you loved reading. Why is reading important to you? Why should this be a priority for young people? What are five most interesting books you have read? What two concepts/ideas have you utilized from your reading into daily routine?
Reading is essential to me because I grew up without a father, and there are many things that I am still trying to learn as a man. Reading gives me different scenarios and distant views of life in other people’s shoes. Reading also helps me figure out many things psychologically.
Reading should be a priority for young people because as you get older, how you speak can get you into rooms you’ve always dreamed of being in. As we get older, speech is important, and talking in slang will have people create a narrative of the type of person you are, even though it isn’t true.
The five most exciting books I’ve read are The Alchemist, Think and Grow Rich, The Way of The Superior Man, Contagious, and The 48 Laws of Power. I’ve utilized concepts and ideas in my daily routine: psychologically learning to unlock my subconscious mind and believing in my legend. Considering that no matter what challenges me in finding and achieving my personal goals, I will find a way to persevere through anything if I want it bad enough.
10. What three words do you have to say to young Belizeans?
Learn how to be committed to yourself and what you truly want in this life.
Learn to have the discipline to get up and work for what you truly want every day, no matter how you feel.
The last thing is learning to be patient and believing it will all work out regardless of your challenge.
Thank You Joshua Vernon for coordination. Please tune in to Joshua’s podcast – Planet Josh.
Photo Courtesy — www.ucasports.com