DO YOU KNOW DARREN COLLISON?
1. He is used to winning. Prior to being drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2009-10, Collison’s teams at UCLA and Etiwanda High School put together a win-loss record of 154-28 (.846) over a five-year span. As a senior at Etiwanda, the team finished 31-2 with a No. 4 overall ranking in the state of California, according to Max Preps. In four years with the Bruins, Collison participated in the Final Four three times, including the 2006 title game.
2. Speaking of UCLA, Collison will be joined by fellow former Bruins Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins on the court this season. It is the first time in Collison’s NBA career he has been teamed with a former Bruin, more or less two others. In addition to the three players on the court, the Clippers also have UCLA alums Gerald Madkins and Gary Sacks in the team’s front office.
3. Collison’s parents were world-class track athletes from Guyana. His mother, June Griffith, specialized in the 400-meter dash, representing her country in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His father, Dennis, ran the 200-meter dash in the Pan American Games. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune on June 27, 2009, Dennis pushed Darren towards track, but realized his son loved basketball was overwhelming.
4. He had a triple-double his rookie season in New Orleans, tallying 18 points, 12 assists and 13 rebounds on Feb. 19, 2010 against the Pacers. Collison is one of only two players standing 6-foot tall or shorter since the 2009-10 season to record a triple-double. The other is current and former teammate Chris Paul, who did so the same season in New Orleans (Dec. 29, 2009).
5. For the past three summers, Collison has hosted a basketball skills camp for middle school students in his hometown of Etiwanda, California, located about 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The camp, which lasts for three days and four hours each day, covers everything from shooting to ball-handling to footwork.