When people talk about Temple Basketball’s incoming freshman class, most think of Simon Gratz’s standout forward Michael Blackshear.
What most people overlook is that Maurice Collins (Blackshear’s teammate at Simon Gratz) is also a special talent on his way to North Broad Street.
Since he was young, Collins has wanted to play basketball for John Chaney. Although he never really thought he could, he always kept hope. His talent became obvious during his senior year at Simon Gratz. Now that he has realized his potential, Collins plans to be a walk-on at Temple Basketball tryouts next fall.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 190-pound forward said he will be playing basketball for the Owls next year. If another freshman is academically ineligible, Collins could receive a scholarship.
That freshman could be Collins’ former teammate Blackshear, if he fails to qualify academically.
During his senior year, he averaged 17 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Although he played forward at Gratz, he will most likely compete with David Hawkins and Nile Murray for a spot in Temple’s backcourt.
“I would assume [Collins] will play the two guard or small forward position,” said Simon Gratz basketball coach Bill Ellerbee, “and if coach needs him to, Maurice is more than capable of filling in at the point.”
Collins said he can contribute a lot of talent to the team.
“I can shoot the mid-range jumper, I can break my man down off the dribble, and I love to rebound,” Collins said.
“He was without a doubt our best shooter, a solid defender, and a better than average rebounder,” Ellerbee said.
These compliments hold a lot of validity coming from a man who coached NBA stars Rasheed Wallace and Aaron McKie. Having two players coming from the same high school should bode well for Owls Basketball in the coming years.
“I’m excited about playing with Mike (Blackshear)” said Collins. “We have good chemistry.”
Andrew Monaghan can be reached at Actmono@aol.com