DURHAM, N.C. – The Virginia Business magazine released its 100 People to Meet in 2021, with Duke men’s basketball freshman and Richmond, Va., native Henry Coleman III recognized as the youngest member on the list.
As an unprecedented year comes to an end, Virginia Business published the annual list to “Introduce you to 100 Virginians who make the commonwealth a more interesting and innovative place to live and work.” The list includes categories like Builders, Educators, Impact Makers and more, with Coleman named in the Angels section.
A 2020 graduate of Trinity Episcopal School, Coleman made an early impression on the entire Duke community in August when he spoke at a peaceful protest on campus in front of fellow student-athletes, coaches and professors. The event, organized by men’s basketball director of operations and player development Nolan Smith, came in the midst of an uneasy summer in which demonstrations against racial injustice were seen across the country.
Coleman’s unprompted remarks were viewed over 124,000 times on social media and garnered positive reception from local Richmond news outlets, his teammates and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“He’s not like your typical freshman,” Coach K said in a preseason media availability. “But for him to just say that extemporaneously and with the emotion that he did shows we’re very lucky to have him. I hope I’m around when he’s stopped playing to see who he becomes, not just as a player. I just think he’s going to be a very special guy in our country. He’s that good.”
The 18-year-old Coleman is not the only Blue Devil who has been vocal in support of social justice efforts and the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition to organizing the peaceful protest on campus, Smith was active in the Durham community throughout the summer, spearheading voter registration efforts with associate head coach Nate James, and attending a summit with Durham public officials. Senior Mike Buckmire also spoke during Duke’s campus rally.
While back home in Concord, N.C., sophomore Wendell Moore Jr. played a major role in setting up a community march in which over 100 people gathered at James L. Dorton Park on June 13. Moore was also selected to the newly-established National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Player Development Coalition in August.