Looking Back: Jason and Jarron Collins
Posted Oct 12 2007 12:43PM
Jason and Jarron Collins' mom takes a look back at raising two NBA players
Something in the media guides did not compute.
Yes, responds Portia Collins, the mother of the first set of identical twins to play in the NBA since Harvey and Horace Grant.
So, is Jason taller than Jarron?
After a bemused pause, the answer we knew was coming finally arrived: "Noooo."
"They filled out questionnaires and have a media archive at their respective schools [high school and Stanford University]. Jarron and Jason let it continue. I don't think they let it bother them."
Maybe not, but Jarron grew an inch since entering the NBA as he was listed as 6-10 at Stanford.
Then again, maybe Jason and Jarron are just trying to measure up to their various off-the-court accomplishments and interests, of which they have many:
"Because of the hours they worked through this agency, they earned their SAG card," Collins said. "They didn't do any endorsement commercials. They were known as background members.
"It was a great way to start in the biz."
Turns out the twins were stars from the beginning as they modeled baby clothes on an episode of The Merv Griffin Show. Mom says the twins are talented, but when it comes to music "they couldn't carry a tune in a bucket."
Lucky for them, they can put the ball in the bucket. Jason, who is eight minutes older, and Jarron began playing hoops in the park recreationally with their dad, Paul, when they were about six.
"They loved being with their dad," Collins said.
While, because they are so tall, it may have seemed destined that the Collinses would be basketball players (the family even had Lakers' season tickets in the '80s), hoops wasn't the only sport they played and it wasn't forced upon them.
"They got the full smorgasbord, baseball, football," Collins said. "They did well. They have always been coordinated and aggressive."
And despite being identical twins, their personalities are slightly different according to mom.
"Jason is more patient," Collins said. "With Jarron, you can really push the envelope. His fuse is like his mother's, it doesn't take much and he's into orbit."
"Jason has the mask, a quiet strength, like a praying mantis."
Physically, however, the two are very much alike.
"When they were younger it was difficult," Collins admitted. "When they were kids, Jason wore a brace on his feet, but Paul put in on Jarron's feet.
"But that's when they were really, really young. When they have different haircuts, it's easy. Still, sometimes I do a double take."
They even used their similar visages to perplex their instructors.
"They did confuse their teachers," Collins said. "I think they did a TV interview where they told the story on how they switched up and went to different classrooms."
Yet, when it comes to the twins' success, mom doesn't need to think twice.
"We tried to afford them every opportunity academically and make many things available to them," Collins said. "Who could possibly guess the future?
"We've been very blessed and we've been very supportive of them. But thanks to a lot of hard work, a lot of luck and a lot of talent, they're doing what they're doing now. It's definitely a dream come true."