Nothing but positivity for Daimion Collins in Lexington


Kentucky men’s basketball freshman forward Daimion Collins addresses the media following a summer basketball camp in the Joe Craft Center on June 18, 2021. 

Barkley Truax

It’s been a whirlwind for Daimion Collins since moving from small-town Atlanta, Texas to the college basketball big-time in Lexington.

So far, his expectations have been met.

“I knew coming in, I’d be surrounded by good people and a good atmosphere,” Collins said about the program. “So far that’s what it’s been.”

He said the experience so far has been good in terms of the people he’s met and being surrounded by positivity. It’s only a matter of time until he’s the big man (literally) on campus once students return to Lexington in the fall and begin recognizing him. 

As for his game, Collins averaged 35.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 6.2 blocks per game in his senior season at Atlanta High School in Atlanta, Texas where he earned the coveted title of Gatorade Texas Player of the Year; a title once held by a former Wildcat and current NBA star, De’Aaron Fox. 

Collins’ high school was a smaller school in Texas and the jump from there to Lexington has been immense.

“There was some attention, but not this much. Coming into this is kind of new for me,” he said. Collins says he cannot wait until he can play in front of a packed Rupp Arena crowd. “I think I might be nervous at first, but I’ll get used to it.”

Another former Wildcat that Collins has taken after is Isaiah Jackson. Collins’ game has been compared to Jackson’s by his teammate, Jacob Toppin, someone who’s been able to see both up close and person.

“I’d say it’s fair,” he said about the being compared to the projected NBA first round draft choice. “He was a really good player defensive wise and offensive wise so I think that’s a fair comparison.”

Already a consensus five-star recruit, following Collins’ performance at the Iverson Classic in May 247 Sports ranked him the No. 13 player overall and No. 4 power forward in the 2021 recruiting class.

“There’s no pressure,” Collins said about playing well off the bat. “I’m going to go out there and give it my all every single game.”

Collins joins TyTy Washington and Bryce Hopkins to round out Kentucky’s freshman class for the 2021-22 season. 

“We have a pretty good relationship,” Collins said about his fellow freshmen and their chemistry. “We met a few times before we got [to Lexington], but since we got here, our relationship has built a lot more.”

Collins thinks focusing on the new transfers can help alleviate the pressure most Kentucky freshmen have felt by keeping the attention off the freshmen. “We’re just focused on doing what we’ve got to do to win a national championship.”