John Collins isn’t limited to just a singular post move or specialty on the court. He’s a big man who gets up and down like a guard and has the ability to posterize anyone who gets in his way. In other words, good luck with stopping him.
Collins learned to play basketball at an early age on military bases, as his mother and father were both in the armed forces at the time of his birth. He moved along with his parents from base to base, which included locations like Guam and Turkey.
“There was a lot of discipline, a lot of structure to my life,” Collins told DIME. “My mom was in the Air Force 20-plus years, my dad was in the Navy 20-plus years, so there was just a lot of structure in my home and life.”
Collins grew up on the gated communities of the U.S. military in different countries, which came with all the challenges one would expect from being on the move so often.
“I moved around and really didn’t have any friends, didn’t really have any solid bases.” Collins said.
Collins’ parents would split up when he was a child, and he shifted to living with his mother for most of his childhood.
“The situation that my mother and I were in was just really unique,” Collins said. “Obviously, her being in the Air Force and having to move around consistently is crazy. But, I can’t imagine being a single mom trying to do that. My mom was always really strict, regardless of whether she was in the Air Force or not. Just to come home and have her at home taught me to be so mature at such a young age, that was the biggest thing I think for me.”
Collins and his mother settled in Florida, where the two of them would stay through his high school days. This was where Collins would really make a name for himself, winning the 4A Florida Player of the Year honors his senior year.