Jason Collier Interview
Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier is averaging 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this season. He went to Catholic Central high school in Ohio, and then Georgia Tech, where as a senior he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game. Drafted 15th in the first round of the 2000 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, and bouncing down to the NBL for a while, Collier is now proving that he has a place in this league.
InsideHoops.com: What have been the best events or moments of your basketball career, not just as a pro but anytime in your life?
Jason Collier: The two most exciting moments that I've had was winning the state championship my senior year in high school, in Springfield Ohio, and in no particular order, is getting drafted into the NBA.
InsideHoops.com: Talk about that championship game.
Jason Collier: We were favored, it was a two-point game at halftime, and we ended up coming back and winning by 30. (My senior year) I averaged about 24 points, I think 12 rebounds, four blocks a game. I had a pretty good supporting cast. I played probably half those games. There's eight minutes a quarter, so I'd play about 16 minutes a game. We were beating teams pretty bad.
InsideHoops.com: So they used you just enough to get a huge lead and then let you sit down.
Jason Collier: Yeah, and then they'd take me out.
InsideHoops.com: What was high school like?
Jason Collier: Everybody got along. We were a real small school. There was only 96 kids in my graduating class, so everybody kind of hung out everywhere. There wasn't really any kind of, these two guys hung out together and these two guys hung out together, it was kind of like the whole team. So that's what made it really cool.
InsideHoops.com: And you got drafted by Milwaukee.
Jason Collier: Milwaukee, and then I was traded on draft night to Houston.
InsideHoops.com: How was your time in Houston?
Jason Collier: I played like the first 20-some-odd games, 25 games, and (got injured) and was forced to have surgery, and had to have a second surgery after that, to correct something else, and missed basically the whole second year, and my third year they drafted Yao Ming, so it was kind of "thanks for coming." I had to go down to the developmental league this year and try to work my way back up, so finally got an opportunity to come up here and play for the Hawks. I've enjoyed it so far.