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Originally published March 4, 2010 at 12:00a.m., updated March 4, 2010 at 08:46a.m.

Morningstar reminisces

Buddy recalls Collins’ early years

Kansas senior Sherron Collins says goodbye to the Fieldhouse crowd following his senior speech Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas senior Sherron Collins says goodbye to the Fieldhouse crowd following his senior speech Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU vs. KSU

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Kansas takes on Kansas State Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Reader poll

Where would Sherron Collins rank in your list of all-time favorite KU basketball players?

  • No. 1 9% 746 votes
  • Top 5 44% 3560 votes
  • Top 10 30% 2472 votes
  • Top 20 11% 888 votes
  • Top 30 2% 197 votes
  • Top 100 1% 102 votes
  • He wouldn't rank in my top 100 0% 75 votes
  • Undecided 0% 26 votes

8066 total votes.

Audio clips

Kansas-Kansas State

Sherron Collins walked through the Jayhawker Towers door for the first time four years ago with a single bag in his hand.

“I can remember like it was yesterday, the first time he walked in,” Brady Morningstar said following Kansas’ 82-65 victory over Kansas State. “He didn’t have any sheets for his bed.”

Because Collins had boarded a flight the day after his high-school graduation, he had packed light. Some friends were driving his belongings to Lawrence later.

Morningstar wasn’t about to let his new roommate sleep on a bare mattress. On the day they met, Morningstar called his parents, drove home and grabbed some plain sheets and pillows for the Jayhawks’ newest player.

“He’s from the city, man. It’s a shell-shock coming to Lawrence,” Morningstar said. “I just tried to help him out as much as I could.”

Collins’ Senior Night turned out to be emotional for Morningstar, who isn’t just losing a teammate at the end of the season.

He’s also losing someone he now calls the brother he never had.

“He’s an important part of my life, and the past four years have been a long ride,” Morningstar said, “but I love that guy.”

It showed Wednesday.

Morningstar was known as the guy who never showed his emotion on the court. Heck, he was changed from a starter to a bench player two weeks ago because KU coach Bill Self said he knew the change wouldn’t affect Morningstar’s play.

Yet, here was Morningstar, allowing himself to tear up before the game while watching Collins make his way to center court with his mother, Stacey Harris.

And here was Morningstar, openly weeping during Collins’ farewell speech after the game, holding his head down the whole time because he knew, when Collins mentioned him, his face was being broadcast to thousands of fans on the Allen Fieldhouse video board.

“That just shows how much he’s meant to me,” Morningstar said, “how much we’ve been through together.”

What they’ve been through is more than most people know.

When Collins arrived that first day on campus, he was 228 pounds — though Morningstar’s not sure he’s supposed to tell everyone that.

During his freshman year, Collins’ son, Sherron Jr., passed away. Collins was homesick.

Though it doesn’t get talked about a lot, Morningstar also says Collins wasn’t used to being around a different group of people.

“It sounds bad to say, but where he’s from, the high school he went to, there’s not a lot of white people there,” Morningstar said. “He knew how to adjust. It just took him a little bit of time to adjust to all the differences here from Chicago.”

Morningstar is asked for an example of how Collins adjusted while at KU, and the junior tells a story from the teammates’ freshman year.

Morningstar’s parents were out of town, so he had brought his dog, Mackie, to the dorm room without Collins knowing.

When Collins came home, Mackie (a Boxer breed) raced up to greet him.

Instead of coming into the room, Collins slammed the door and stayed outside in the hallway. It turned out that Collins had been attacked by a pit bull when he was younger at a football practice. He didn’t mess with dogs, and he wasn’t going to mess with Mackie.

“Now, that’s the only dog he’ll pet,” Morningstar said with a smile. “He’ll give it treats. He’ll feed it. He’ll pet it.

“He’s adapted well. He finally loves the dog that he used to hate.”

It’s just one way that Morningstar has seen Collins grow in his four years.

“I knew his time was coming,” Morningstar said, “but it came here so fast.”

Comments

Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 9 months ago

that's a great relationship story there.

sounds like a book should be written. I understand you could write this type of story almost anywhere where big time colleges recruit inner city kids to school...and they get to know, shall we say, "suburban" or college town natives....but this one would be a good one.

Brady hit the tie breaking shot last night....and we never trailed again. He'll always have that memory for Sherron's Sr. night.

Next year, we'll have a long Sr. night with Tyrel, Brady, Mario....(et al?). Should be fun.

Mike Kendall 4 years, 9 months ago

My French Bulldog would love to lick Sherron's hand, too. Sherron is the big dog, baby! Nice second half, Sherron. Thanks for all of your accomplishments!

Tony Bandle 4 years, 9 months ago

Lord, I had no idea he had lost an infant son his freshman year!! What a immense weight on a freshman struggling during the biggest adjustment of his life.

He can pet my two golden retrievers, Sedona and Scout, any time. They would lick him to death!!

Tony Bandle 4 years, 9 months ago

Lord, I had no idea he had lost an infant son his freshman year!! What a immense weight on a freshman struggling during the biggest adjustment of his life.

He can pet my two golden retrievers, Sedona and Scout, any time. They would lick him to death!!

Tony Bandle 4 years, 9 months ago

Sorry for the double posts.

Sorry for the double posts.

Ron Franklin 4 years, 9 months ago

2010 Draft Picks: currently showing Cole near a 5, Xavier from 8-14, & Sherron as low as 27 in some mocks. I'd bet that was Xavier's last home game too.

I think we all saw why EJ doesn't get minutes last night. He cant keep up with this level of play, especially on defense.

Ron Franklin 4 years, 9 months ago

I mean, he can't keep up with this level of play...YET. He will, though. He learns to get down on defense, and move he's gonna be a suPA star

Mike Kendall 4 years, 9 months ago

OakvilleJHawk--

No problem on the double post.

No problem on the double post.

SoCalAlum 4 years, 9 months ago

The Morningstar family and Brady deserve a significant "thanks" for their role in Sherron's melding into the KU family - as Sherron himself acknowledged, they accepted him as one of their own.

And, looking back, how brilliant a move was it to pair Sherron and Brady as roommates, with Brady's family being not only locals, but with Roger as a former KU player?

It's a great day to be a Jayhawk.

docileboy 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope the NCAA doesn't get wind of the Morningstar's loaning Sherron bed sheets, that is probably some violation.

I think more kids should consider staying in school, there is more to life than money. The memories Sherron has made will last him a lifetime. I left school early and there is not a day goes by that I don't regret it. Cole, X are you listening?

Trey Hohman 4 years, 9 months ago

X should absolutely stay at Ku for another seaon if only because he could potentially be the #1 player taken in the 2011 NBA Draft + there's almost certainly going to be an NBA lockout for all/90% of next season -- which most likely inevitably means that there will be no more guaranteed, multi-year player contracts -- but instead simply a much higher, guaranteed signing bonus attached when a player signs his contract -- patterned after the NFL financial system….So if X got drafted #3 in 2011 instead of say, #12 in 2010, he will hypothetically be looking at a difference of at least $10 Million in guaranteed signing bonus money additions if he stays one more year at KU.

Trey Hohman 4 years, 9 months ago

Also, if there is no NBA regular season next year, then there is no $ for the NBA players. Cole should maybe stay at KU for this same reason. The NBA is a failed system, financially speaking, at the moment and I personally would want to wait until the union-negotiation-air is clear before entering if I possibly could. Otherwise, you will just sit and wait.

100 4 years, 9 months ago

Cole will be the most decorated player since Wilt Chamberlain if he stays.

Wow we would be good!!!!

And he'd finish his degree!!!!

Has there ever been a back to back National Basketball Scholar of the year?

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