4 Daimion Collins

Name
Daimion Collins
Position
Forward
Class
SO
Hometown (Last School)
Atlanta, TX (Atlanta)
Ht
6'9"
Wt
190
Seasons
2021-22, 2022-23
Birthday
October 28, 2002

Daimion Collins was born on October 28, 2002, in Atlanta, Texas to Kimberly and Benjamin Collins, Jr. He has four siblings: Dailen, Makayla, Diamond Collins, and Jamin Powell. He first dunked at age 14 in a summer league game.

Collins played for Atlanta High School. He averaged 24.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 7.7 blocks per game as a junior at Atlanta and was a Third Team All-State selection by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. As a senior at Atlanta, he averaged 35.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 6.2 blocks per game and led his team to a 19-5 record. Collins was named the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year. He was a Naismith All-America Third Team selection and was named to the MaxPreps All-America First Team. He was a consensus top-20 prospect in the class of 2021 and ranked the No. 13 overall player by 247Sports. Collins was named to the McDonald’s All-America Game, the Jordan Brand Classic roster, and the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic. He earned Sports Illustrated All-America Third Team honors and was the MaxPreps Texas Player of the Year. He was a three-time District Most Valuable Player in high school and led his team to three undefeated district seasons. Three times Atlanta High School was the bi-district champion and three-time won the area championship. Collins also competed in track as a high jumper his senior season, winning the district and regional title. Collins, who boasts tremendous athleticism and a 7-3 wingspan, was regarded as one of the best rebounders and shot blockers in all of high school basketball.

On October 31, 2020, Collins verbally committed to play at Kentucky. He chose the Wildcats over Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma State.

As a freshman, Collins saw action in 27 games and made one start. He scored 78 points, had 55 rebounds, and tallied 20 blocks. Collins produced three double-figure scoring efforts and led the team in blocks in seven games and tallied three or more on three occasions. He logged a career-high 14 points, six rebounds, and a career-best four blocks in his home debut against Robert Morris. Against on November 9, 2021, Collins was an afterthought. Three days later against Robert Morris, he made sure the Rupp Arena crowd remembered his name. With just more than two minutes left in the Wildcats’ home opener and the outcome already decided, point guard drove toward the basket in a three-on-one fast break. Instead of taking the shot himself or passing to teammates Dontaie Allen and charging toward the basket from the other side of Robert Morris’s lone defender in the paint, Wheeler dropped a pass backward to the trailing Collins. From the SEC logo just inside the free throw line, Collins leapt over the Robert Morris defender to slam home a dunk that brought Rupp Arena to its loudest volume since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “That’s what he does,” super senior guard Daivion Mintz said after Kentucky’s 100-60 win. “That’s Daimion Collins. That’s his game.” Against a team that has perhaps the deepest stable of physical post players in the country, the wiry Collins played just one minute. Against Robert Morris, he erupted for 14 point on 7-0f-8 shooting with six rebounds, four blocks, three assists, and one steal in 21 minutes. In 12 second-half minutes, Collins tallied 10 points, three blocks, and three assists. On November 21, 2021, he scored 12 points and added six rebounds in his lone start of the season against North Florida. On February 5, 2022, against Alabama, Collins scored 10 points to finish in double figures for the first time since scoring 12 against North on November 26, 2021. Collins was just the second top-20 recruit in the Calipari era to average single-digit minutes per game as a freshman. There were glimpses of promise but Collins still found minutes difficult to come by with National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe entrenched at center and juniors Keion Brooks and Jacob Toppin splitting minutes at the four.

As a sophomore, Collins continued to be an intriguing player and perhaps the player that generated the most preseason buzz. He went from barely being used the second half of last season to a spot in the starting lineup in preseason workouts and potential draft pick after the 2022-23 season ends. Collins said he did not consider transferring despite his inconsistent minutes as a freshman. He credited his parents for keeping him positive even when he was not playing as much as he hoped. Now, Collins hoped the greater comfort that comes with a year of experience can combine with his offseason conditioning to force his way back to the forefront of fans’ minds again. Collins had the best overall numbers of any UK player at Kentucky’s annual Pro Day.

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