Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Andre Collins is Big in Italy

Andre Collins (2001-04) is the star player for Carife Ferrara of Italy's top pro league. Italian website TuttoBasket has a long story about Collins (translation), which is fascinating to read, but frustrating to get through the bad auto-translation and messed-up page formatting. Here is a snippet, which I have cleaned up a lot, in which he is being compared to another short Italian league guard, rival Terrell McIntyre:
But the similarities with McIntyre continue: he had tried to play in a major college in America (the Sienna player played at Clemson) at Maryland where he won the NCAA title in 2002 and was teammates with Fortitudo player DJ Strawberry, but after three years spent on the bench fighting the prejudices of coach Gary Williams, who considered him too small to be competitive at that level, Collins chose to move to small Loyola University as a way to have more exposure. Collins scored 26.1 points on average there. Ignored by NBA clubs, he landed in Italy. Ferrara is now a second home in Italy for him. He found his girlfriend, Marilisa, and good companions with which to play poker. Collins also has a sort of fixation on superstitions. Before every game, he follows a complicated stretching routine and his pre-menu never changes: lasagna and homemade salad, rice and chicken. Before each free throw, he touches an image of his grandfather tattooed on his right arm. Collins has a passion for tattoos. He has 19, some dedicated to missing relatives including a cousin who died young, others with phrases such as a motivational words about basketball stamped on his left arm.

In another short interview (translation) I found with Italy's BasketNet, Collins is compared to another Italian rival, former LA Clipper Earl Boykins, whom he dominated in a recent game.

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