At just eight years old, Donald “Don Don” Coleman Jr. is playing on the biggest stage of his young baseball career—the USSSA 7U World Series in Bixby, Oklahoma—a big dream achieved for a small-town Arkansas kid.
“Don Don has been playing baseball ever since he was six years old,” said father Donald Coleman Sr. “He would watch other athletes from the area playing around in the park or in the woods hitting the ball, running around and having fun. He liked it so much that we started league ball and took it from there.”
And the rest was history. Quickly, the Lepanto native adapted to the sport, learning how to play multiple positions and finding success with a strong team in the Arkansas Nemesis.
“Playing with the Nemesis has been great,” Coleman Sr. said. “We’ve won 47 games this season. At one point, we were ranked No. 1 in the nation and we’re still ranked in the top 20 today. Since the fall, Don Don has won 13 tournaments, earning nine championship rings and four championship bracelets.”
At press time, the Nemesis has won its first two games in the World Series, defeating the Vinta Bulldawgs 7U and the Bixby Twins, 17-7 and 17-16, respectively. Don Don also took home top baserunning honors, winning the World Series’ Faster Runner award.
“This is historic for the city of Lepanto,” Coleman Sr. said. “We’ve never had a USSSA 7U player go to the world series. It’s history in the making. He’s ready for the challenge and wants to bring home a big win and a trophy.”
Despite his son’s successes so far, Coleman Sr. says his son is just getting started.
“Don Don became an elite player around the middle of last fall,” Coleman Sr. said. “Since then, he’s been aiming for the top. He wants to lead the team in home runs and he wants to get faster than he already is. Going to the park every day and hearing the stories of legendary Lepanto athletes [Hapoel Ramat Gan guard] Rashad “Ky” Madden and [Charlotte Hornets guard] Malik Monk gives him the drive to do something big to be like them.”
In the future, Coleman Jr. wants to play at the Major League level, and hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of his favorite baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr.
“Don Don’s biggest goals are to stay in school and to stay in sports,” Coleman Sr. said. “He says that he wants to be a star. He always enters games with a clear mind, and tries to go out there and compete to the best of his ability. As his father, I push him to do well and he makes all A’s and B’s in school at East Poinsett County.”
Off the field, Coleman Jr. enjoys eating, playing video games, playing football and being a kid in Northeast Arkansas.
“Don Don’s favorite food is hot wings, steak and shrimp,” Coleman Sr. said. “He’s skinny, but he likes to eat. He wants to play flag football this fall and is smart enough to play quarterback. He works so hard to be so good because he has two brothers who love him and look up to him, but because of training and travel commitments, he doesn’t always have the time he wants to spend with them. He’s a great kid with a good heart and helps uplift those around him.”
Future Stars of Tomorrow is a monthly feature which recognizes young athletes across Arkansas. To nominate your Future Star of Tomorrow, contact XZero Sports at (501)617-4106 or e-mail Mark Oliver at Mark@xzerosports.com.