From the Archives: Jason Collins

NBA veteran Jason Collins made international headlines for publicly announcing his sexual orientation. We take a quick look back at his youth, high school and college career. 

NBA center Jason Collins made international headlines this week when he became the first openly gay male athlete in any of the American pro sports (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL).

A 12-year veteran of the NBA who played this season for the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, Collins was a first round NBA Draft pick by the Houston Rockets in 2001 out of Stanford.

Jason Collins cover JPEG

Jason Collins (left) led his team to a winter tournament championship in December 1990.

In this edition of From The Archives, we go back to when Jason and his twin brother Jarron played for a 12U Southern California youth basketball team called Mid-Valley ARC.

Jason was named the MVP of the PTI/National Junior Basketball Holiday Classic that winter and made the All-Tournament team. In this cover photo from a December 1990 edition of the then weekly Cal-Hi Sports Magazine, Jason (left) is seeing jumping ball with future Stanford teammate Mike McDonald, who went on to basketball at Long Beach Poly and played guard while the Collins twins developed into post players.

In the PTI/National Junior Basketball Holiday Classic Tournament that winter, Jason and Jarron led Mid-Valley ARC  to the tournament title, beating the Cerritos Panthers by 17 points.

The Collins twins would go on to play at Harvard-Westlake in North Hollywood and win back-to-back CIF state titles in 1996 and 1997.  Jason would finish his high school career with 1,500 rebounds, the CIF Southern Section’s top mark according to the CalHiSports.com State Record Book.

Interestingly, another member of those Wolverine championship teams was actor Jason Segel, currently on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

The brothers would go on to Stanford together where Jason would earn All-Pac-10 first team honors and third team All-American honors in 2001.

Brentt Eads contributed to this report.

Ronnie Flores is the basketball editor of StudentSports.com. He can be reached at ronnie@studentsports.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

Updated: May 2, 2013

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