This coming season, Kentucky Basketball will showcase the best player from the Longhorn State.
On Friday, all 51 winners (counting the District of Columbia) of the Gatorade State Player of the Year award were announced and incoming freshman Daimion Collins received the honors from his home state of Texas. The 6-foot-10 power forward has already arrived on the Kentucky campus, participating in community service projects and summer camps across the Bluegrass as he builds a relationship with his new teammates and coaches.
— Daimion Collins (@CollinsDaimion) June 4, 2021
After posting averages of 30.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 8.7 blocks, and 3.0 assists per game as a high school senior this past season, Collins was the easy pick to win Gatorade Texas Player of the Year. He comes to Kentucky as a five-star recruit and a top 15 player in the country out of Atlanta High School after recording 2,533 points over his career.
Collins was not the only familiar name to claim ownership as the best player from his state–former Kentucky commit turned Gonzaga Bulldog, Nolan Hickman, was tabbed as the top player from Utah while other Kentucky targets such as D.J. Wagner (New Jersey), Brandon Miller (Tennessee), and Chris Livingston (Ohio) did the same in their respective states. From the state of Kentucky, Highlands shooting guard and future member of Northern Kentucky Basketball, Sam Vinson, took home the prize from Gatorade.
Here’s more from the company’s press release on Collins.
A member of the 4-H Club, Collins has volunteered locally with Driven to Change, a non-profit organization that mentors children on leadership, academic and career development. “Daimion Collins is an exceptional shot-blocker who is usually first to the rim on missed shots—displaying length, explosiveness and a quick second jump,” said Paul Biancardi, ESPN National Recruiting Director. “He makes himself an excellent target to finish drop-off passes by rolling to the rim with dependable hands and explosive athleticism.”
Collins has maintained a weighted 3.88 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Kentucky this fall.
Collins joins recent Gatorade Texas Boys Basketball Players of the Year Greg Brown III (2019-20, Vandegrift High School), R.J. Hampton (2018-19, Little Elm High School), Quentin Grimes (2017-18, The Woodlands College Park High School), and Marcus Garrett (2016-17, Skyline High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Collins has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Collins is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.