Bishop Gorman’s Zaon Collins is a slender 6-foot guard, probably tipping the scales at 150 pounds.
But when the game’s on the line, Collins has shown he’s tough enough to carry a team.
“My favorite player’s Kobe, so I’ve got this Kobe mentality that I don’t like losing,” Collins said. “So I just pick it up. Even if I have to put the team all the way on my back, I’m going to do it to get the win.”
Here’s what Collins has done for Vegas Elite 2020 EYB during the Fab 48 tournament:
— Hit the winning shot in a 72-70 win over New Heights 16U in a Tip Off Challenge showcase game Wednesday.
— Hit the go-ahead free throw in a 60-59 win over Meanstreets 16U on Thursday.
— Had 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and assisted on the winning 3-pointer in a 68-67 win over Dream Vision on Thursday.
— Scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half of a 78-65 win over We All Can Go 16U on Friday. He added four rebounds and eight assists.
“He’s been on a tear the whole summer. He’s on a mission,” Elite coach and Gorman assistant Rich Thornton said. “He’s got a lot to prove, and he’s the ultimate competitor. I’ve never been around a kid who hates losing more than Zaon Collins. I’ve never been around a fiercer competitor.”
Collins didn’t start for the Gaels last season as a freshman, but played major minutes while splitting time with senior D.J. Howe.
Collins received a scholarship offer from Western Kentucky this week to go with offers from UNLV, Washington, Texas Christian and Southern Mississippi. He looks to be ready to take the reigns this winter for the Gaels.
“He picks his moments (to score), but he’s the ultimate point guard,” Thornton said. “He’s a pass-first point guard, which there’s not a lot of anymore. He makes everybody better. He’s a coach’s dream.”
Chris Paul’s team advances
Chris Paul donned a Team CP3 polo and took a seat on the sideline Friday at Spring Valley.
We know he can play. Turns out the Houston Rockets star point guard can coach, too.
Paul’s grassroots program advanced to the championship game of The 8 — the top bracket in the Las Vegas Classic — with an 86-76 victory over the PSA Cardinals, who are led by top-ranked senior point guard Cole Anthony, the son of former UNLV star Greg Anthony.
Paul isn’t the head coach, but remains active with the program. He instructed players during the game and exchanged pleasantries afterward with Greg Anthony.
Meanwhile, Paul’s son, 9-year-old Chris, shot baskets with Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young as fans departed the gym.
Findlay Prep guard shines
Blaise Beauchamp can shoot the ball from deep.
His new coach watched him do so Thursday night.
Beauchamp, a combo guard from Hopkins, Minnesota, scored 13 points for Minneapolis-based Howard Pulley in front of new Findlay Prep coach Rodney Haddix.
He followed with 12 points in Howard Pulley’s game Friday.
The rising junior played three years of varsity basketball in the Twin Cities, then transferred this summer to Findlay Prep to play for Haddix, who takes over for Paul Washington.
Contact Sam Gordon at email@example.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter. Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.