Duke’s Collins takes trip down memory lane

sptp_collins
Collins has fond memories growing up in Philadelphia and hanging out in the Sixers’ locker room with his dad as a youngster.
Paige Ozaroski/Metro

The memories come flooding back every time Chris Collins steps off the airplane in Philadelphia. It always takes him back to his childhood.

The 38-year-old Collins is the associate head coach for Duke, the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament’s Midwest region. The Blue Devils were in town Friday to play a second-round game (they beat No. 15 Albany, 73-61) at the Wells Fargo Center.

The arena isn’t the same one a young Collins remembers, but it’s still rife with those memories. When he was a kid, he was following his dad, Doug, everywhere the former Sixers star went.

“A ton of memories stick out,” Collins told Metro. “Darryl Dawkins (was) sleeping in my house when I was a little kid. The main thing that sticks out are the times after the games, my dad bringing me back to the locker room as a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old, and all those guys, seeing them ice down.

“And they’re cracking on me, telling jokes. Dr. J and Darryl Dawkins and George McGinnis. It was a special time. I wasn’t real old, but I was old enough to know what was going on.”

Collins knows what’s going on with his father these days. In a season filled with injuries and the Andrew Bynum saga, the Sixers coach has had a tough go of it.

“We talk almost every day,” Chris said. “When you’re in this for a long time, there’s years where you have injuries and things are not going well, and you have a tendency to get down. I think overall he’s done a really good job. No one wants to win more than he does.

“I try to keep his spirits up and keep him up with the task at hand. He’ll keep teaching, watching them grow and hopefully things will be better in the future.”

For Chris, the future may bring his own head coaching job. He is reportedly the top candidate to replace Bill Carmody at Northwestern.

“Chris is growing up with it,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Chris knows everything about basketball. I mean, you ask him who scores — he’s just terrific. They’re beautiful people (Chris and Doug), and we feel like we’re one and the same family. I mean, I’ve known Chris since he was 17 years old.”

Chris joined Coach K’s staff as an assistant on July 22, 2000. In 2008, he was promoted to associate head coach. After this tournament ends, he may well be finalizing his own staff at Northwestern. Until then, he’s fully committed to Duke and making a deep run. The Blue Devils will take on Creighton, who beat Cincinnati 67-63 Friday, Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center.

“We’re excited,” he said. “We’ve been disjointed with injuries the whole year. We’ve kind of managed that, weathered the storm, got Ryan [Kelly] back late in the year and we’re excited about still playing. We feel like we have all the pieces.

“There’s a lot of teams capable of winning [it all]. You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You’ve got to play the game in front of you. Hopefully, we win that and see who’s left standing.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Local

Mugger uses chokeholds in Central Park attacks: NYPD

Cops are searching for a Manhattan mugging suspect tied to at least two attacks near Central Park this week.

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…