Darren Collison is a first year professional basketball player who plays for the Indiana Pacers.
He was born on August 23, 1987 to June and Dennis Collison. Darren seemed destined for athletic greatness – both of his parents were star track and field athletes.
His father represented Guyana at the Pan-American Games where he obtained his personal records of 10.1 seconds in the 100 meter sprint and 20.3 seconds in the 200 meter race. His mother also represented Guyana in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.
After high school, Collison enrolled at the University of California-Los Angeles, where he studied history. During his career at UCLA, he ranked in the top ten in the Pac-10 in five statistical categories, and he was first steals and field goal percentage.
As a sophomore, Collison averaged 12.7 points per game, with 5.7 assists, earning him an Honorable Mention AP All-American. This also got him named First-Team All-Pac-10. His junior year also brought several honors as he continued to improve his basketball skills. He was named to the AP All-American First Team and averaged 14.5 points, 1.6 steals and 4.7 assists per game.
He was also fourth in the nation in free-throw percentage at .897. He also had a 52.5 percent shooting average from the three-point range, which set a UCLA single-season record. Finally, he was named the Pac-10 Most Outstanding Player for the 2008 Pac-10 Tournament.
Collison’s senior year brought him even more accolades. His hard work got him named to the First Team All-American. He also won the Francis Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is given to the nation’s best player who is six feet tall or shorter. He finished his career 16th in UCLA history for total points scored and played a total of 142 career games, tying him for first in that statistic.
After college, Collison was picked by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the draft. However, in 2010 he was traded to Indiana. While still on the Hornets, Collison stepped in when their star point-guard, Chris Paul was injured. Collison did not disappoint.
He averaged 18.8 points and 9.1 assists per game. He played 44 games in which he scored over ten points, and two where he scored over 30. He obtained 14 double-doubles and ranked second in free-throw percentage among rookies. In 2009 was appointed to the NBA All-Rookie team, where he averaged 12.4 points per game and 5.7 assists per game.
Though he is still fairly new to the league, Darren Collison shows a lot of promise for the NBA.