I am a diehard basketball enthusiast and online sports writer. I love writing about strategy and team management.
John Collins has damn near averaged 20 and 10 this season (18.8 points and 10.4 rebounds) and has put himself into the Most Improved Player conversation. Collins doesn’t exactly get the hype a 21-year old putting up these kinds of numbers normally would. This is mostly due to the fact that the Atlanta Hawks have been absolutely terrible this year. So who is John Collins and what’s his story? Read on to find out. Let’s start from the beginning.
Collins was born in Layton, Utah, but his father was in the Navy and his mother was in the Air Force. Collins moved around a lot both throughout the USA and abroad to Guam, Turkey, and the Virgin Islands. His father is “John Collins Jr.” So John Collins on the Hawks is “John Collins III,” he doesn’t use the suffix right now but down the line, it could play into a nickname. “JC3”…? I don’t know that’s not exactly a great nickname but it does have a ring to it.
Collins went to Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Florida. Collins’ senior year he was Florida’s Class 4A Player of the Year. Collins was a 3-star recruit ranked 185th overall and 16th in the state of Florida. Collins received 10 offers, including Miami, Tennessee, and Texas. Collins signed with Wake Forest and would go on to prove those who scouted/ranked him dead wrong.
John Collins High School Highlights
College; Wake Forest
Collins didn’t start right away at Wake Forest, but he did lead the team in field goal percentage his freshman year at about 55%. Collins became the star of the team his sophomore year. He led the team with 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 62% from the field. This earned Collins a spot on the 1st-Team All ACC and the honors of ACC Most Improved Player.
That 2017 ACC All-Conference team included Donovan Mitchell(1st), Luke Kennard(1st), Justin Jackson(1st), Dennis Smith Jr.(2nd), and Jayson Tatum(3rd). All of those players are contributors on NBA rosters right now. Dwayne Bacon (Florida State), Jonathon Isaac (Florida State) and Davon Reed(Miami) would also go on to be drafted.
Collins left after his sophomore year and entered the 2017 NBA Draft.
Even with the great stats and accolades at Wake Forest Collins slipped out of the lottery and was selected 19th overall by the Atlanta Hawks. Collins would make the 1st Team All-Summer League with averages of 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
John Collins Summer League Highlights
Collins didn’t get a whole lot of playing time to start his rookie year but after injuries and the overall bad play of the Hawks he began to play more and more as the season went on. By the end of the year, Collins started 26 games averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game shooting 57.6%. This earned Collins a spot on the 2nd Team All-Rookie.
The 6’10” Power Forward has crazy bounce and has developed an outside shot defenders need to respect. Collins is shooting 34% from 3-point range this year, which is solid considering the 0% he shot in his two years at Wake Forest.
Keep an eye on this guy, especially with the all-star break coming up, he should put on a show in the rookie vs. sophomore game.