Coleman Sparling UTA

Coleman Sparling walks down the court during University of Texas Arlington’s game versus Tulsa University on Nov. 9, 2019.

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During unprecedented times, there’s no rush for Coleman Sparling.

And while there’s been ample of phone calls from Division I teams for the soon to be redshirt senior who entered the transfer portal last week after one season with the University of Texas Arlington men’s basketball, he’s going to be meticulous on the process.

“I’m just taking it easy,” Sparling said. “We got to figure out if schools are going to even have basketball. So, just kind of taking easy and hearing everybody out.”

Sparling played in 26 games for the Mavs with six starts in the 2019-20 season. He averaged two points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game. He scored a season-high six points versus Louisiana back in January.

UTA finished the season 14-18, 10-10 in the Sun Belt Conference.

Sparling, who graduated with a bachelor of science last Sunday from UTA, has one year of eligibility remaining. He’s putting academics first, knowing he wants to coach after basketball. He said UTA doesn’t offer a one-year master’s program he’s looking for, which is one of the reason’s he’s opting to transfer.

“I want to get my master’s in sports administration or sports management,” Sparling said. “There’s a lot of schools that have accelerated business masters that’s one year, and I’m looking for that, too.”

As for on the court, Sparling felt he played out of position at UTA, often having to play center at 6-foot-7.

“They forgot to recruit a little size, so I’m 6’7 playing the four and the five, but mostly the five because the big guy got in foul trouble a lot,” Sparling said. “That’s just not who I was. I played the point guard at CSI and at Central I played a lot of positions. Just a big difference. I really want to enjoy my year and play how I was at CSI and even at Central.”

On top of finding a university that fits his academic pursuits, Sparling covets a team that fits his style of play and embodies a family aspect.

“I’m not saying I want to play point guard again, but I want to play somewhere where I can be that point forward that I kind of did here at Central and also did at CSI,” Sparling said, who averaged 8.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game at CSI. “I want to have the ball in my hands, be able to distribute and make plays and just being me, honestly.

“But also go to a place that’s a family feel. I played for my dad and also my JUCO coach — coach (Jared) Phay and coach (Aaron) Anderson out there. They were like family to me, I still stay in touch with a lot of my JUCO teammates. That’s something that’s really important to me.”

What about playing for his father one final time? Sparling and his father, Greg, spent two seasons together at Central Washington University before Greg was released after 24 seasons as head coach.

Greg will enter his third season as head coach in the 2020-21 season for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“At the end of the day, that’s something I always pondered,” Coleman said. “He wants me to do what I want to do. He’s going to be supportive and everything. Him and I have a ton of fun, so it’s always in the back of my head. Him and I have been going through this recruiting process and he’s been right here helping me through it. You always got that in your back pocket so that’s always nice.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Coleman said he’s been working at the Palace Cafe in Ellensburg making deliveries and golfing quite a bit, too. He played Wine Valley Golf Club last week in Walla Walla and is scheduled to play a round at Gamble Sands in Brewster this weekend.

With all the basketball rims boarded up in Ellensburg and school gyms shuttered, he said he’s been practicing at home.

“We got our little hoop right here in the culdesac,” Coleman said. “Putting up some shots, playing a lot of PIG because it’s the wind, you got to use the wind so it really creates some good PIG shots. Besides that, running, doing all the workouts you can really right now especially not being able to lift and not being able to get into a gym.”

Luke Olson:; on Twitter: @lukeolsonb


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