On the day he committed his future to college basketball, Jacob Coltrane said he often thinks back to his first day of practice as a freshman for coach Ken Updike at Hilton Head Island High School.
"My freshman year, I remember walking into practice -- he pointed at me and said, 'You're the future," Coltrane said.
Four years, a serious shoulder injury and a spirited comeback later, Coltrane announced he will attend Erskine College to play basketball. The under-sized guard who was nearly cut by Updike after an 8th-grade tryout session said he is looking forward to taking his trademark hustle to the court for the Flying Fleet.
"The whole feeling about the people that I met there, the people I saw, I loved everything about the basketball program," Coltrane said. "It's been one of the main things I've wanted to do since middle school."
Coltrane's road to success was a long one, riddled with questions about his size, and even his skill. Updike said he decided not to cut his future standout guard because he could see how hard Coltrane worked and how much the game meant to him. According to Updike, Coltrane is one of the toughest players he's ever coached.
"We had a tough time keeping him off the court with a torn labrum," Updike said.
That injury, sustained in the first quarter of his first game as a senior, landed Coltrane on the shelf for a good portion of the season. In that time, Coltrane said he did his best to rally his team and prepare for a late-season push. He came back and flourished, leading the team in points, assists and steals in his final 10 games.
"He can just flat out play," Updike said. "He has been able to very positively take the good things and the bad things and transition that into becoming productive."
Coltrane said he chose Erskine because it is closer to home and because he will have the chance to be a point guard in a set offense.
Coltrane, who hopes to eventually coach, will spend the next few months rehabbing his shoulder. His arm, currently in a sling, and shoulder will have to undergo a regimen of push-ups, weights and treatment in order to get it into playing shape for the fall.
If Coltrane approaches rehab as intensely as he does a half-court offense, he'll be ready to go in no time. In the meantime, he'll look forward to starting a new journey, the next step in his hoops-driven progression.
SEAHAWKS' TORRES HONORED
Hilton Head Island junior forward Eneo Torres is the NSCAA/TopDrawerSoccer.com Boys High School Player of the Week.
Last week was a big one for Torres, who scored five goals in two games. He scored once in a 2-1 loss to Hanahan to start the week.
But he roared back strong to put in four goals in an eventual 6-0 win over Berkeley to even the Seahawks region record at 2-2.
FREDERICO GETS TOURNAMENT INVITE
Hilton Head Prep junior Stephen Frederico has been invited by USA Baseball to participate in the 2014 Tournament of Stars.
According to usabaseball.com, the Tournament of Stars "is made up of 108 of the nation's best ballplayers that are international age-eligible for 18U National Team consideration (born in 1996 or 1997).
"It is truly a blessing and an honor to be invited by USA Baseball to their Tournament of Stars event," Frederico said in a release. "... Being invited to this event motivates me to work harder than ever before so I am fully prepared."