In the end, reputation and results was enough for Atlanta (Texas) forward Daimion Collins.
Kentucky coach John Calipari’s reputation for getting his players to the NBA and watching former Kentucky stars produce in the NBA’s bubble this summer gave the Wildcats the nudge they needed to land Collins, despite the fact that he’s never seen Big Blue Nation in-person.
Collins picked the Wildcats over Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech and Texas.
“That made a big impact,” Collins said. “When I first made up my mind that I was going to Kentucky I called Coach Cal first. He told me he didn’t go to sleep until 2 a.m. that night.”
Last season, Collins was dominant for Atlanta, averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks a game last season.
He said Calipari sold him on using him in a role similar to the way Anthony Davis was used in Lexington. Davis just earned an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers this month.
“He told me he’d use me as a stretch four that can play outside on the perimeter but play inside too,” Collins said. “He said he sees a lot in me just like (Davis).”
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Collins is Kentucky’s third commitment from the 2021 class, joining Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.) forward Bryce Hopkins and Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah) point guard Nolan Hickman.
“It’s a relief,” Collins said. “Going through the recruiting process is a dream, but at the same time it does get stressful. I’m excited to have it done.”