Jalen Coleman recently graduated from Wiseburn-Da Vinci high school and will attend Temple in the fall to study sports management. His athletics, academics, and community outreach efforts would earn him the 2023 Build a Better Future Scholarship and the Footlocker Scholar Athlete Scholarship.
“The amount of hard work that I put into the community and giving back and putting it also into my studies, people like to honor that,” Coleman said. “This shows the potential that I have when it comes to going to my college, Temple University, and trying to implement something there.”
Coleman founded Outside J, a non-profit organization that hosts three-on-three basketball events for youth. He created Outside J to not only promote the joys of playing basketball but to encourage young residents from his native Inglewood to play at local parks.
“I see that oftentimes travel basketball will take that away with the kid traveling miles away to play basketball instead of your local community courts,” Coleman said. “This nonprofit is for people who like to have fun playing basketball.”
Outside J hosts leagues, Tournaments, and community events. Last October, he hosted a three-on-three tournament in partnership with his church, Faithful Central Bible Church. Coleman noted how he used Mash Up, a youth fellowship event held at Faithful Central, to promote his tournament.
“We managed to get around 60 kids to sign up,” Coleman said.
Outside J also partnered with the City of Inglewood to unveil renovated basketball courts at Edward Vincent Jr. Park. Parks, Recreation, and Library services director Sabrina Barnes reached out to him to do the partnership.
“We were thinking about having a clinic model and then towards the end, we can have a competitive three-on-three type of games,” Coleman said. “It brightened my day to see the kids appreciate their community more and to have more fun locally.”
Being a leader on the Wiseburn-Da Vinci Wolves boy’s basketball team helped him with Outside J. With both the Wolves and his organization, he wants to bring a different perspective.
“I’ve always tried to help the underclassmen and tried to put more of a culture there,” Coleman said. “That is what I’m also bringing in with Outside J and that correlates on knowing how to bring another perspective and trying to see other opportunities.”
Coleman also was a member of the DECA Honors Program, a club that teaches youth about marketing and business management. He became a two time finalist for the California State Career Development Conference.
“In 11th grade, I was a finalist, which is like top 10 but in 12th grade, I was top three so it shows how much I’ve grown much in that side of marketing,” Coleman said.
To Coleman, being a student athlete means being a leader in athletics and academics as well as being a positive influence.
“I feel like a student athlete means being an advocate for change and advocate for the better good,” he said. “Honestly, I inspire others to not just pursue athletics but to also have a background in academics and being strong in that.”
For more information about Outside J, visit https://www.outsidej.org/.