Remembering Jason Collier

Remembering Jason Collier

The Atlanta Spirit family is saddened to report the sudden passing of Hawks center Jason Collier, 28, on the morning of Sat., Oct. 15.

"Jason and his family are first and foremost in our prayers during this difficult time," said Hawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Billy Knight. "Jason was a devoted family man who deeply loved his wife Katie, daughter Elezan (Ella), his parents and siblings. He was also a tremendous friend to the Hawks employees who spent time with him, and a hard-working and dedicated teammate to many NBA players over his five seasons in the league. We will truly miss Jason's personality and his spirit, and he will be in the thoughts and minds of our team and organization forever."

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Windows Media: Video Tribute To Jason Collier | Guest Book

Sending Your Condolences
If you would like to share your thoughts and condolences with the Collier family and the Atlanta Hawks, email us at

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Jason J. Collier Charitable Fund which will provide educational and financial benefits to children in need.

Jason J. Collier Charitable Fund
C/O Smith Barney
3333 Peachtree Road NW
Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326

Scroll Down to read some of the many well-wishers who have emailed in their thoughts, prayers and memories for Jason.

There has been a great outpouring of support for Jason, and we thank everyone who has written in to share their feelings.

Here is a sampling of what you had to say:

My name is Harvey Catchings, a former NBA player and education counselor with the NBA/NBPA. I had an opportunity to work with Jason when he was here in Houston with the Rockets. One of the things that I will always remember about Jason......His comedic tone about life. He was truly committed to excelling both on and off the court. It was important that he finished his degree and also make sure that he provided for his family. I remeber pinning him down about when he was going to finish his degree and his answer was, I will get my degree when I get back to the Atlanta area.......! I know that he will be sorely missed by family and friends, but God said that he has provided an incredible number of happy moments on earth.......Now I want him here with me, so I can hear some the jokes that he told here. God bless you all, family and friend. All I ask is that you secure a place for yourselves in heaven, so that you will once again commune with him.........Be Encouraged

Harvey Catchings
NBPA/NBA Career Development Counselor

I am so sorry to know Jason Collier is gone, surely he will be with God in> My condelences to his family and HAWKS team.

From Honduras,
Reniery Rivas E.

Dear Collier family,
I would like to send my deepest condolences to Katie, Ella and the entire Collier family. Jason will be remembered first of all as a very good person. We all can learn from Jason how to be a good person. I will pray to God that He will help you in these difficult times.


My husband has been a fan of Jason's since he was at IU, and therefore, I've heard a lot about his game and also about what a wholesome, classy, good guy he is. The NBA needs more Jasons. I was so sorry to hear about his death and can only imagine the suffering that his family is going through. To his wife and daughter, my thoughts are with you on losing your husband and father. I wish you every good thing in getting through this.

A fan in Chicago

To Jason's family and friends,

Our prayers and thoughts are with you in this very difficult time. Jason will be missed by his fellow players and coaches very much. Its definitely hard to lose someone we've seen in NBA games giving it his all.

We Love You Jason

Long time fan sorry to hear, but he is in a better place playing with some of the best old school basketball players in heaven. Keep your head up and take care.


I am truly, and deeply sorry for the loss of Jason!!!

When you think of the ones you love,
You see them smiling and laughing,
They look like angels from above.

And deep into your heart,
They truly are angels,
That's why this is the hardest part.

Tear stained faces all around,
Another young like,
We lay into the ground.

Everyone keeps asking why,
"Why did this happen to our angel,
He was too young to die".

God had greater things in mind,
For this special angel,
So the answer to "why" we'll never find.

So for now all we can say,
Is "Angel we'll be missing you,
Until we meet again someday".

My wife and I want to send our heart felt condolences to the Collier family. We obviously did not know him, but from reading about him he sounds like a tremendous person who will be greatly missed.

Our prayers and thoughts go to his wife, daughter, and family.

May God bless his family and the Hawks organization during this difficult time.

Casey and Becca C.
Little Rock, Arkansas

Hello My name is Makenzie. I knew Jason Collier throgh his wife, Katie. Katie is my horse trainer. Jason was not only a friend but a man filled with lots of love. We will miss him terribly! We love you!
(P.S. I have made something to share I hope you like it)

J is for his jumping abilty that he had.
A is for the athletic ability he had, he was a wonderful player.
S is for is sense of humor, he was so funny.
O is for the opportunity to marry a wonderful wife Katie and have a beautiful baby Ella
N is for niceness, he was so nice he always put people in front of himself
JASON is a man who knew how to treat a lady, to love his daughter and he sure did know how to play basketball.

We didn't know him, but we are so sad to have heard of such sad news. My son is a big NBA fan and he saw it on the news. Our last name is Collier and it reminded him of our family. You are in our thoughts and prayers
The Collier's Hello family of Jason; I am a nurse at children's healthcare of atlanta and I met Jason at our annual summer games this year and he was so good with the kids. I know they will cherish the memory of that day forever and he is definitely a bright spot in my memory here at Children's. i hope that you all know that he will be remembered always to all that met him and he was a great guy.

Thanks for sharing him with us
Loretta Walker

He was such a kid playing with our special kids at the Summer Games. I will remember him as the caring, cute, smiling young man playing in the hot sun. My heartfelt condolences to the family.

Durga S., PT, PCS.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Katie and Family,

My heart is broken for you. Jason was a wonderful human being. He was so proud when he would to talk about you and Ella. Those nights on Todd's Dock, playing guitar, singing horrible renditions of songs, and sharing some great stories. I will cherish them. He was a good man. NBA players should look to him as their role model. Know that he is surrounding you with his spirit. And that God has given him eternal life. We will see you again Jason. Thanks for your friendship!


I had the privelege of having Jason's mom Joyce as my kindergarten teacher in Springfield, OH. My mother still teaches with her and I will always remember when I found out that Jason had passed away. My heart goes out to Katie, Ella, Jeff, Joyce, Julie and Jared, your husband, father, son and brother will be missed, and his family and the families he has touched will forever be changed.
Carrie C.
Springfield, OH

Though I did not know Jason personally, I could tell the type of man that he was. Picture this:

As I sit at the top of the bleachers on a cold, rainy Friday night for a homecoming game, I realize that the man sitting in front of me had to be at least 7 foot tall. This was Jason. He was attending a homecoming game to watch his younger brother Jared play varsity football. He didn't leave early to beat the rush or get out of the rain, he waited until the game was over so he could congratulate his brother. When the game was over, he stood up and began to walk off of the bleachers. Many high school and junior high basketball players had been admiring him from afar during the game, and saw this as an opportunity to meet the gentle giant. They came up and Jason welcomed them as he had known them all his life. He was joking, shaking hands, and giving "high" fives to these complete strangers, all while holding his sleeping daughter in his arms.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Collier family and to all who knew him.

Josh C.
South Vienna, Ohio

As a fan of basketball in general, it always hits hard when you learn of someone with the class and selflessness of someone like Jason ( much like Bobby Phills and Malik Sealy before him) passes away. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the entire basketball community. RIP #40

I am fortunate to have known Jason since he was in junior high. I am also a graduate of Springfield Catholic Central, where I played Basketball a few years a head of Jason. I have enjoyed watching Jason grow over the years athletically. Jason was a very impressive basketball player, but more importantly he was an impressive human being. I will remember Jason most, not for delivering a much sought after State Basketball Championship to my alma mater, but for always having a smile on his face, and treating everyone with respect and kindness. I am proud to have known Jason, he was able to touch so many lives, in so many different ways. I regret that I did not get a chance to let him know how much pride I had in him, in the way that he represented our school, and our hometown. The world did not lose a basketball player, we lost a great member of our society at large. Thanks for all of the memories.
Ryan M, Dayton Ohio

My deep condolences on the passing of Jason Collier. I am from Springfield, Ohio and our entire community is shocked and saddened by his unexpected passing.

Our prayers are with his wife, daughter and family.

Kerry S.

I want to send my regards to the Collier family for their loss. I also want to thank Mr. Collier for giving me hope as a Hawks fan by playing so hard when the team was an embarassment to watch many nights. Ever since he joined the Hawks, Jason showed fight no matter the odds. He would often be dunked on by Shaq and while that was depressing, it was encouraging to know that we had a center who had enough stones to stay in there and fight it out consistently with the most powerful player in the NBA. THAT is what will stay in my mind about Jason Collier: a man who did not run away from responsibility and who understood it enough to assist those who might have trouble while walking alongside him. Hawks players, stand up and smile for your brother because it's apparent that he would stand up for you.

SPC Anthony Hooker
United States Army Reserve

Im a 15 year old hawks fan and all i want to do is offer my condolences to Mrs. Collier and her daughter. This is a sad day in hawks history and the NBA will deeply miss Jason Collier.
Rest In Peace Mr. Jason Collier
Alex H

I would like to send my sincere condolences to the Collier family. I met Jason during his senior year at Catholic Central High School. I was a huge basketball fan and enjoyed watching Jason play his senior year before going to Indiana. He was a bright young man with a great future ahead of him. Jason was a great role model for students and athletes. After meeting him briefly after a game, I asked him to come to Xenia, Ohio to speak to students in my 6th grade D.A.R.E. Class. He accepted this offer with a great deal of enthusiasm. He visited Xenia on two occasions to meet with my D.A.R.E. Classes. Jason was a very humble young man that really wanted to make a difference on and off the court. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet Jason. I can only imagine how many people Jason touched with his kindness during his lifetime. My heart and prayers go out to all of Jason's friends and family.

Captain Scott Anger
City of Xenia Police Division

My wife and I would like to send our deepest condolences to Katie and Ella.

Your husband and father was a great man. His generosity and kindness touched everyone he met. We were lucky enough to be one of those people and want to thank you for the time that both you and Jason spent with us. The following paragraph is a memory I would like to share, it was the third and unfortunately last time we met Jason.

While Katie, Ella, my wife, and our toddler were playing by our neighborhood pool I asked Jason how he first got into basketball, because of his advantageous height, or that he just happened to love the sport? He told me that since he was a kid he had dreamed of being in the NBA, and he said he remembered placing a NBA poster up on his wall when he was 6 or 7. And now that he is in the NBA, he loves everything about it. He couldn't believe he was getting paid to do something he loved so much. Jason also said he felt too guilty about buying things with his extra money, he felt more comfortable using it to help family and others. It was at that point in time I realized that Jason Collier was larger than life. Most people I know would already have 2 sports cars, etc.,. And this is also when I learned about his love for one of his favorite charities, the "Sunshine Kids".

That day I was wearing my only pair of tennis shoes and Jason asked me if I needed a new pair because they looked like they needed to be replaced. He said he would get me a free pair if I just called him up and let him know my shoe size!

After we left the pool our families drove separately to a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately I didn't bring my wallet to the pool, so I had to pull over on the way to the restaurant to let Jason know I just needed to turn around quickly to pick up my wallet at my house. Even though this was only the third time he had met us, he offered to buy our dinner, he just seemed to be full of 'nice gestures'.

Jason Collier's generosity and kindness should be imitated by everyone, we're going to miss him and we are still stunned this happened. Our condolences go out to Jason's entire family and Katie's parents and Allison and Matt, who were not only a sister and brother-n-law to Jason and Katie, but best friends.

Darryl and Heather

I remembered seeing Jason in a rockets uniform and wondered if he'd ever spoken to anybody in his life. To me, he was so gentle and to summarize, humble.

I actually heard of his untimely passing on the BBC World Service News on Monday morning.

I had problems initially remembering what he looked like although I was familiar with the name.

I decided to go online and it was then that I could've put face to name.

It's always sad when someone who has his whole future ahead of him is cut down in his hayday.

To his wife, child and the rest of the Collier family, I say cry if you may, but I believe that everything that happens in this life is for a reason. Remember that God has promised another comforter in your time of bereavement.

God Bless you always

James W.
West Indies

I felt very sad and shocked when I heard about Jason