Penn Hills senior joins Point Park basketball at exciting time

Sunday, April 7, 2024 | 11:01 AM

Egypt Coleman didn’t consider playing women’s basketball at Point Park because the school is transitioning to the Division II level from NAIA. The Penn Hills senior wanted to be at a place where she felt comfortable. Being on campus in the city, plus building good chemistry with her teammates, was a big part of the decision.

“I like being in the city,” Coleman said. “I also have played pickup basketball with the girls on the team. I like the girls on the team.”

Point Park announced it is moving to the Mountain East Conference starting with the 2024-25 academic year. Point Park will become the 11th MEC school. Last season, the Pioneers had a 19-9 overall record and finished 11-6 in River States Conference play.

The MEC had 11 schools for the 2023-24 school year, but lost a program when Notre Dame (Ohio) decided to close its champus. Coleman, a 5-foot-11 wing, will fit in for a program that will be looking to adjust to new surroundings.

“I had an eye on the school before that happened,” Coleman said. “That happening was just the cherry on top.”

She was forced to adapt during her high school career. Coming out of the pandemic, Penn Hills had low numbers and Coleman was pressed into playing heavy minutes as a sophomore. The Indians struggled, finishing 1-18, but Coleman was able to gain valuable experience.

“I think I have come a long way with guard play,” Coleman said. “I put the most time into my handles. Developing my decision-making came from playing more.”

Penn Hills coach Robert Cash said the Indians were focused on making Coleman a multifaceted player. Instead of just leaning on her height and length to play on the post, the Indians coaching staff worked with her to play more on the perimeter. Coleman also honed her skills playing for the Western PA Bruins.

“It was good to play in different places,” Coleman said. “I never rested from playing.”

This past winter, the Indians were 12-12 overall and beat Thomas Jefferson in a WPIAL Class 5A preliminary round playoff game. Penn Hills was bounced from the playoffs by Oakland Catholic in the first round.

“During her senior year, Egypt had to take some time to figure out her role,” Cash said. “Once she got it down, she was strong for us down the stretch.”

Coleman, like the team, improved as the seasons went on. Penn Hills returned to the playoffs for both her junior and senior seasons.

Coleman would like to try to make another successful leap when she heads to the collegiate level as well.

“She’s a good athlete who can handle and finish in traffic,” Cash said. “Once she gets to college and is able to get on their lifting plan, she should fit right in.”


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