Redbird Arena floor to be named for Doug
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NORMAL -- With his retired No.
20 hanging from the rafters at Redbird Arena, Doug Collins continues
to be the benchmark which all present and future Illinois State
men's basketball players try to reach. Collins' accolades and
accomplishments are unmatched, and as a result, he will be honored
like no other Illinois State student-athlete has ever been. Prior to
the Bradley men's basketball game on Feb. 3, pending approval by the
Illinois State University board of trustees, the floor in Redbird
Arena will be named "Doug Collins Court."
The recipient of the first full basketball scholarship at Illinois
State, Collins, who lettered from 1971 to 1973, was not allowed to
play his first year due to NCAA freshmen rules. Under the leadership
of Director of Athletics Dr. Milt Weisbecker and head coach Will
Robinson, Collins and the Redbirds quickly burst on the national
scene in Division I athletics.
"In the 150-year history of
Illinois State University, Doug Collins exemplifies all the best of
Redbird athletics," said Director of Athletics Dr. Sheahon Zenger.
"His accomplishments as a student, an athlete, an Olympian, a
professional, a coach and as a broadcaster have brought notoriety of
the highest level to Illinois State University for the last 37
"Doug Collins is the model for all of our student-athletes, and
we are proud to celebrate his career as part of the Illinois State
Collins averaged 28.6 points per game as a sophomore, while
scoring 30 or more points in half of ISU's games, and was named an
honorable mention all-American by both the Associated Press and
Converse Yearbook. He also earned second-team academic all-America
As a junior, Collins ranked third nationally in scoring with 32.6
points per game. At the end of the 1971-72 season, he was named an
All-American by the Helms Foundation and won the Chicago Press
Club's Abe Saperstein Memorial Trophy, which was presented to the
nation's most outstanding player.
Collins also capped off his junior season by earning a spot on
the United States Olympic Team for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich,
Germany. His spectacular steal and ensuing two free throws with
three seconds left appeared to secure a victory for the USA in the
gold medal game, but a bizarre finish stripped the Americans of a
victory in one of the most controversial basketball games of all
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The Benton native went on to have a picturesque senior season. He
averaged 26 points per game, including a then-school-record 57
points against New Orleans, set the school standard for career
points (2,240), and his number 20 was retired after his final game.
He also became the only consensus all-America selection in Redbird
basketball history and appeared on the front cover of Sports
Illustrated after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the
first overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft.
Collins went on to star in the NBA for eight seasons, all with
the 76ers. He scored 7,427 points, averaging 17.9 points per game,
and was selected to play in four all-star games, but because of
injury did not play in the 1979 game. The leg injury proved to be
the end of his playing career but opened up more opportunities in
basketball as a head coach and broadcaster.
He coached eight years in the NBA and led five teams to the NBA
playoffs. Collins coached Michael Jordan with both the Chicago Bulls
(1986-89) and the Washington Wizards (2001-03). In between those two
stops, Collins coached the Detroit Pistons (1995-98) for three
seasons, while working with his former college coach, Will Robinson,
in the Pistons' front office.
As a commentator, Collins has also earned all-star status by
garnering numerous Emmy nominations for his work. Also, along the
way, Collins has been inducted into the Illinois State Athletics,
Missouri Valley Conference and Academic All-America halls of fame.
(Text copied from file received from Todd Kober,