Friday, July 10, 2009

Family comes first

Collins relieved after uplifting news about his mother

Sherron Collins high-fives youths at the Bill Self basketball camp June 10 at Horejsi Center. Collins spoke Thursday about being relieved to find out his mother, Stacey Harris, wouldn’t be diagnosed with cancer. Collins has been back and forth to Chicago to visit her all summer.

Sherron Collins high-fives youths at the Bill Self basketball camp June 10 at Horejsi Center. Collins spoke Thursday about being relieved to find out his mother, Stacey Harris, wouldn’t be diagnosed with cancer. Collins has been back and forth to Chicago to visit her all summer.


Sherron Collins desperately wanted to represent his country this month at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.

A lock to make the team, Kansas University’s senior basketball point guard on June 15 informed USA Basketball officials he wouldn’t be able to fulfill a promise to attend tryouts in Colorado Springs.


For personal reasons.

“It was a problem I was going through, some family issues. There was too much going on in my head. I was focused on my family,” Collins said Thursday in discussing the problem publicly for the first time.

“My mom had lumps in her chest that they (doctors) were saying most likely was cancer,” Collins said of Stacey Harris, who lives in Chicago.

“I was really sad. I lost my grandmother on my father’s side a couple years back. Stomach cancer ... she never drank or smoked, but in two weeks cancer just ate her up.

“I was thinking about that and didn’t want my mother to go through that.”

Collins, who has raced between Lawrence and Chicago “five or six times” to check on his mom the past several weeks, last week learned that Harris figures to be OK.

The lumps are not cancerous. Medication has been prescribed, Collins said, with no surgery on the horizon.

“It was last week actually,” Collins said of the moment he received the good news. “I was working out (at KU) and my mom couldn’t get in contact with me. She called coach (Bill) Self to let me know immediately.

“When coach told me, I felt a lot of pressure relieved from my shoulders. It wasn’t a celebration. It was more a relief. She’s a happy little lady who wasn’t herself this summer.

“I’ve been working hard since I got the news. I’ve been able to finally focus. I’m relieved.”

Not wanting to make excuses, Collins acknowledged he was in no mood to work out during the days his mom was not feeling well.

Stress-related inactivity may be one reason he checked in at 5-foot-111⁄2 — and a shocking 228 pounds — at the Deron Williams Skills Academy on June 24 in Dallas.

“All I could do was pray, man,” Collins said of his free time when mom was struggling.

“I’m not one of those guys who can sit around and not do anything because of my genetics. I’ve always got to be active. I was back home and had a lot of stuff on my mind.

“Coach knew I was overweight, but knew I had some things on my mind. He never said anything negative. He was supportive. He told me if I need to be home, go home.

“One thing about coach Self and all the coaches here, they really care about your family and what is going on in your family. Coach knows me. He knows I’ll be ready when the season starts.”

To that end, Collins, who is working out twice a day, has shed 10 pounds since the Skills Academy weigh-in.

“I don’t know if you would call it my personal ‘Boot Camp,’’’ Collins said with a smile, not looking forward to his final Bill Self Boot Camp in September.

“I’m doing a lot of cardio, elliptical stuff, running in place, working out an hour and a half twice a day.”

He’s also working on his game, evidenced by a successful trip to the Deron Williams camp where he played 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 each evening with some of the top perimeter players in the country.

“It was fun. It was different because there were no bigs,” Collins said, noting guards were able to take it to the basket without fear of rejection.

“It was pretty competitive. Deron (Utah Jazz) played in some of the games. He’s tough. Everybody was tough,” added Collins, who listed Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas, South Carolina’s Devon Downey and incoming Texas freshman Avery Bradley as some of the finest playmakers there.

“Bradley caught my eye a little bit. He’s athletic, strong, quick,” Collins said of the 6-2, 180-pounder, who is’s No. 4 player in the Recruiting Class of 2009.

Collins, as well as Cole Aldrich and possibly the Morris twins, next will attend the Adidas Nations Experience Aug. 4-8 in Dallas.

Collins also plans to work out with former KU center Sasha Kaun, NBA player Chauncey Billups and other pros at the end of this month in Las Vegas.

He said his goal is to do everything it takes to have a stellar senior season.

Collins, who has scored 1,330 points, good for No. 25 on the school’s all-time list, needs 492 points this season to pass Darnell Valentine as the top-scoring guard in school annals. Valentine ranks fifth overall at 1,821 points.

“I knew I’d be close to the top five in scoring. I’m not worried about that. I don’t want to think about doing this and that, personally,” Collins said. “If I average 10 points and we win big, that’s what I want.

“It pushes me a lot,” he acknowledged of winning his second national title in three years. “To be able to win one was special. If we’re able to win this one and I’m able to have a bigger part in it, it’d be really special.”

A dream would be to win another NCAA title, which certainly would assure his No. 4 of someday hanging in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters, then get picked in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Collins likely would have been a late-first-round, more likely a second-round, selection had he put his name in the 2009 draft.

“I watched it. It was a crazy draft. There were a lot of guards taken, one of the best drafts for guards,” Collins said.

“I think if I declared I could have been picked in the first round. I had a great year, and I think I could have proven in workouts that I was a first-round pick. I just don’t think it was the right time.”

Self certainly is happy to have Collins back for a final go-round.

He calls him the “best guard in the country.”

“We’ve coached some really good guards, but you have not seen a guard in recent times that impacts a college game more than Sherron does every possession,” said Self, noting that Collins has “been great” in his workouts since the alarming day he weighed in at 228. His normal playing weight is 205.

“When Sherron is right, there’s nobody that can play with him. He and Cole will have a chance to be All-Americans. They both want to be part of a legacy that brings home two national championships.”

Collins not only pleased his coach and teammates, but another special person by deciding to stay in college.

That’s Harris, who said at KU’s postseason awards banquet she always dreamed of watching her son’s Senior Day and graduation ceremony.

Both should be on the calendar this season, as Collins, an African American Studies major, says he’s on track to graduate.

Mom won’t miss any of the action.

She’ll be living in Lawrence during the 2009-10 season.

“She should be here by Late Night,” Collins said of the Oct. 16 extravaganza. “I’m really happy she’s going to see so many games this year. It’s going to be great. I’ll be able to get even closer to her.”

And ... “I won’t have to do laundry any more,” Collins said with a smile. “I get tired of seeing Brady (Morningstar, roommate) taking his laundry over to his mom. Now I get to take laundry to my mom, too.”

In wrapping up the conversation about his mom Thursday morning, he answered — without hesitation — if he regrets not playing for Team USA, considering Stacey has been given a clean bill of health.

“Not really,” Collins stated, “because if I did leave the country and she ended up having it (cancer), I’d be more worried and not there for her. Everybody knows I wanted to go. Coach knows I wanted to go. I couldn’t go. My family comes first.”


100 10 years, 9 months ago

Thank goodness your mom is OK.

Rock Chalk

DrPepper 10 years, 9 months ago

I can't argue with a thing here. It is all good.

mojayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Keeping priorities is a God given virtue and a rarity in today's world. Good call Sherron. First things first.

KU2010CHAMPS 10 years, 9 months ago

Ever since that whole stupid incedent with that woman Sherron has done nothing but excel here, he has proven that he had nothing to do with that in my mind. I love almost everything about this kid what a great competitor keep it up Sherron. Glad to hear you mother will be ok.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Some times the news can be soooooo good!

Sherron's mom gets the big break!!!

Congratulations, Mother Harris. No one ever deserved it more.

Sherron + healthy mom + hour and a half of cardio twice a day + 210lbs. = Beasting


Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 9 months ago

with us going deep in the tourney, Sherron has a real shot at 2000 pts. for his career....what a legacy he could leave. (another Big 12 title, nat. title?)

very good news about your mother, Sherron...we wish her all the best.

Let's just all focus on getting thru the summer, healthy...and get ready for the season. with a lot of hard work, the sky's the doubt about it. Go Sherron and Go Jayhawks!

Timmay97 10 years, 9 months ago

“To be able to win one was special. If we’re able to win this one and I’m able to have a bigger part in it, it’d be really special.”

Sherron, if you think you weren't a HUGE part of us winning the last title, you're crazy! Does a certain 3 point shot mean anything to you?

You're the man!! Thanks for coming back. Jayhawk nation loves you!

Fred Davis 10 years, 9 months ago

Sherron Collins has always been one of my favorite Jayhawks... Big things this year with Sherron - Big Things.

Jonathan Andrews 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm sincerely glad to hear that Sherron's mom is OK, and that Sherron himself is in the right frame of mind to lead this team. I questioned Collins' dedication when I heard he was 228 lbs, as well as Self's handling of that situation, but I understand better now.

Go Collins! Go Self! GO KU!

jchawkfan 10 years, 9 months ago

That is such good news for Sherron and his entire family. I am so glad for him.

I can't wait till the season starts. I was watching utube clips the other day and it got me all pumped up. Just a couple of the many I watched.

  1) The KU pregame introduction on the score board right before the starting 
   2) Sherron taking over the OU game last year.
   3) And of course the last couple min. and overtime of the NC game.  
      (Which i just about jumped and screamed in a dead quiet offfice when 
       Chalmers hit the shot.)

WisconsinJayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Brady Morningstar lets his mom do his laundry? Dude's like, thirty. Two pegs down on the respect scale.

justinryman 10 years, 9 months ago

Sherron has got his life in order, he understands personal responsibility and he takes and owns it.
Lets just hope Momma Harris will do his laundry. Never count your eggs before they hatch Sherron.

JayhawkPurist 10 years, 9 months ago

"To be able to win one was special. If we’re able to win this one and I’m able to have a bigger part in it, it’d be really special.”

Collins' humility is unreal. KU doesn't win the 2008 national title without Collins. It wasn't as obvious as last year, but Collins had the ball in his hands and took the team on his shoulders at many crucial times in the 2008 Final Four, and I for one think that his career performance thus far---regardless of what happens this year---should be enough to get his name up in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters. If he earns first-team All-American honors and/or KU wins another championship this year, not only put his name in the rafters, but elevate his banner a foot or two along with Manning and Chamberlain.

One of my favorite players of all time.

jayhawkinnc 10 years, 9 months ago

You said it JayhawkPurist. Collins with a huge steal and three late vs. Memphis........AND of course the assist to Chalmers for "The Shot". We don't win the title without him. I've watched that play over and over and I'm still amazed how he was able to get that pass off to Chalmers. He was going full speed, got bumped in the hip by Rose, the ball slightly got away from him and he was still able to somehow get the ball to Mario as he was falling to the floor. He almost ended up underneath press row. Sherron is a lot of good things....and he's especially a WINNER! Glad your mom is ok Sherron. Now go and have a kick butt season!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 9 months ago

Trying to compare personal loss [ wife, child, brother, sister, etc.] is an impossibility but your mother is something special. There is a bond there not possible with any other being on the planet. Having lost my Mom many years ago, I totally understand Sherron's feeling and feel he made the 100% correct decision.

To all of you, I have also lost a wife and a is too precious and our time too short to waste it on petty things. Be good to others and be good to yourselves.

Go Sherron, Go Mom Harris, Go KU Nation.......ROCK CHALK!!!!!!

justanotherfan 10 years, 9 months ago

I now understand why Sherron's weight went up like it did. I'm glad his mom is okay. I can only imagine the worry he went through.

Joe Baker 10 years, 9 months ago

WisconsinJayhawk (anonymous) says... Brady Morningstar lets his mom do his laundry? Dude's like, thirty. Two pegs down on the respect scale.

Ok...say it ain't so...say it ain't so...please!' !@#$%^&&*()

tstanlick1909 10 years, 9 months ago

It was great to hear the news about your mom, Sherron

kujayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Bigger part? Maybe, but we don't win that national title without Sherron.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago


I believe you alluded to your losses one other time.

Your sanity and cheerful disposition in the face of such losses remain an enormous inspiration to me.

waywardJay 10 years, 9 months ago

Sherron is indeed alot of things.....

Great shooter, floor general and a healthy eater ;)

The Oklahoma Game was SICK. Him and Warren trading shoots like it was a high school game.

His mama taught him well, it seems in just about ever endeavor. It's good to hear she is healthy and will be in attendance along the far as our boys take it.

Let's be honest, When you go home to visit mom.... You get fed. ALOT. He's cramming exercvise into to get down.... He will be much better off for the experience. I didn't want him playing overseas anyway... TOO MUCH BASKETBALL.... When you need it to hone your game, case in poitn tyshawn... it's a good thing..... Whne you got most of it all figured out... you need days off to stay in shape.... exercise.....

Sherron, I've watched alot of basketball over the years..... and im still not sure you are NBA superstar.... but i definetely can see you having an extended career just being who you are......

Khalid El Amin with a work ethic behidn the size, and a pretty pure jumper when you pull up..... and about 7 steps faster....... Keep on Bowlin, Sherron.

cklarock 10 years, 9 months ago

Great news!

Sherron, you're one of our all-time greats, and I think this season will cement your legacy. As an alum and fan, I'm proud to see you finishing your degree as a Jayhawk. Congratulations in advance for graduation.

Had to drop my season tix this year, but I'll be at Senior Night, misty-eyed and hoarse.

jayhawkboogeyman 10 years, 9 months ago

Wow. Good news to hear that everything is ok with Sherron. He's already been through more than most of us can imagine. He has grown up so much in his KU years. With him and Cole leading the team, and both positively determined to win a second title to end their careers, I don't think we need to worry too much more about the Henrys. Once they get up here and spend a few workouts with those guys, they will find out real quick what it will actually take for them to succeed in college and become a pro-ready athlete. Sherron sounds quietly determined to make this team the best, and there is no way he will let anyone, especially a teammate, stop him. Good to hear.

Lone_salina_kufan 10 years, 9 months ago

I truly appreciated this quote: "One thing about coach Self and all the coaches here, they really care about your family and what is going on in your family. Coach knows me. He knows I’ll be ready when the season starts.”

That's what makes Bill great!!!! With all of the possibilities in the upcoming season, he could've easily allowed those expecatations to overshadow the right thing. To realize that being a descent human being is more important than winning in this "win at all cost" culture, speaks volumes to why there is great chemistry here.

This kind of thing will result in good things....really good things!!!!

Happy to hear the good news Sherron, best wishes.

mjlindsm 10 years, 9 months ago

I realize that these good stories don't get the interest nor comment volume of stories about the Henry's, but I love to read these. I want more about the current players. More Sherron, more Cole, maybe not too much more Morris^2 because their interviews tend not to be quite so inciteful (sp?), more Brady, more Releford. I know you guys do a story about everyone right before the season. Problem is, there are other stories mixed with that too because so much is going on. How about doing that now? How about a story about a different guy on the team every other day during the summer, and not right before the start of the season?

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Kevin Anderson,

I am a big Nick Krug fan and am still waiting to hear what became of him. But the image of Sherron and the boy reaching out with this story suggests you have po. Gotta fine tune the F-stop though. Kevin, we need you. The season coming up is an epic one. A photog on his game is quintessential.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Rumor: Word leaking out of Skywalker Ranch is that Lucas and Spielberg will soon team up for another Indiana Jones sequel; this one starring Shia Le Beuf. It is to be called Kansas Jones and the Crimson Cross. It will be set in 1970, and Shia Le Beuf will play Indy's son, now nicknamed Kansas, a 30ish KU assistant professor of archeology finishing up his Ph.d. just prior to receiving a full professorship at the University of Indiana and an opportunity to take over the Indiana Jones chair in archeology there. Young Kansas' dissertation is set to be a study of what became of the cross that Jesus was crucified on in Jerusalem. Sources close to the film say it will begin with a customary action sequence, this time set in Jerusalem, where Indy will follow a lead about the cross being imbedded as the timbers of Jesus' reputed burial tomb there. Kansas Jones finds a gap in the timbers where the cross is supposed to be and a clue in the form of a clay tablet covered with the ancient Hebrew of Gnostic Christians that he believes will lead him to where the cross actually is. Of course, CIA, MI5, Mossad, Soviet and Chinese Intelligence, competing with each other, converge on the tomb to try to get the tablet and a fantastic chase through Jerusalem ensues. From Jerusalem the plot winds through nearly a dozen historical and sacred locales around the world where the cross was supposedly imbedded in various churches and temples in order to hide it from secret secular orders out to gain control of its secret powers of saintliness the cross supposedly imbued with from Christ's agonized time spent on it. But finally, the story comes full circle, as young Kansas Jones learns that the last known remnants of the cross made their way to Lawrence sometime before the Civil War in the care of a group of Massachussetts abolitionists. He also discovers John Brown's later raid on the Harper's Ferry arsenal was done to steal still more of the remnants of the cross away from the US Army, which had acquired the remnants from a slave church that was fire bombed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Rumor Continued...

Kansas Jones' research further reveals that the remnants of the cross were eventually cut and used to form a red K in floor of the Kansas Student Union, the very spot on which Kansas Jones was standing early in the film and talking with a flirtatious young coed about her mid term grade. Fast forward again and Kansas Jones rushes back to Lawrence only to find the campus and city convulsed in student protest and police and student violence. It is April, 1970. Young Kansas Jones races to the student union only to find it set ablaze, reputedly by students, though students in the film tell young Kansas that they believe certain unnamed authorities set the fire in a false flag to blame the students and tarnish their protests in the eyes of the the Kansas legislature and the Kansas electorate. Kansas Jones believes all hope for the cross is lost; that it was burned to ashes in the blaze. But as Kansas Jones turns away from the burning union in a scene reminiscent of Atlanta burning in Gone with the Wind, there is a cut to a down hill doorway and a group of shadowy figures taking the charred red K out of the union and into the night. There is another cut and we see the same shadowy figures sneaking into Allen Field House, while all of Lawrences eyes are still on the burning union across the campus. The figures carefully cut out the center circle at mid court--the center circle with a red K. The lift it up and slide it aside. They dig a hole into the exposed dirt. They lower the charred red K into the hole. They cover it over with the same dirt. And they glue and replace the section of court that they cut out, carefully fitting it into position. The shadowy figures stealthily run off the court into the darkness. Pull back to a shot of the court and the empty field house in darkness. Cut to the outside of Allen Field House. Fade to black. Or so the say sources close to the film.

ObiWan 10 years, 9 months ago

How lucky we are to get a player like Sherron for four years! He brought his special talent to Lawrence in 2006, but since then he's grown so much. Maturity and perspective are two virtues that can not be taught in a classroom or on the basketball court. His game has certainly improved since he's been here, but he's also become a positive example for all of college basketball to look up to. This is what a man acts like, not some whiny prima donna O.J. Mayo "I'm better than this game" player. And guess what? Sherron will get to look up at the wall, see his Diploma, and remember the best four years of his life. Hopefully, he can reflect on his experiences, education, and TWO National Championships! You'll always be loved in Lawrence, Sherron.

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