Meet the Legends: Kyle Collinsworth
The G-League has many high quality players with tremendous backgrounds and incredible work ethics. These young men are fighting hard to extend and elevate their professional basketball careers and it makes it really interesting to hear their perspectives on their uphill battle to reaching their career goals in the NBA.
Following the Texas Legends’ 125-112 loss to the South Bay Lakers in Frisco, Dallas Sports Fanatic sat down with Legends player Kyle Collinsworth to learn more about his past and present basketball experiences.
Kyle Collinsworth is a 26-year-old Provo, Utah native in his second season with the Legends. He was named Utah’s “Mr. Basketball” back in 2010 and followed that with four solid seasons at Brigham Young University where he averaged 12.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5 assists for the Cougars. After going undrafted in 2016, Collinsworth landed on the the Dallas Mavericks Summer League team and impressed enough to earn an invite to training camp before the 2016-2017 season. After getting cut towards the end of the preseason, Collinsworth was snatched by the Legends and has averaged 6 points per game over the course of his 40+ G-League appearances.
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from your training camp/summer league time with the Mavericks?
Collinsworth: “I think it’s all just about getting better everyday. I was with the Mavs, I hoped to stay with them, but I got cut. So now it’s about getting back to the NBA. It’s really about keeping your mind in the present and locking in each day.”
Q: How does the getting cut conversation go? Do they leave it open ended for a possible return?
Collinsworth: “It’s very straightforward and, if you’re in the right mindset, it’s very constructive to why you got cut and how you can get back. The coaches and GM were very complimentary and I came out of there with a positive outlook that I can get back.”
*Despite growing up in Utah, Collinsworth said he grew up a big Mavs fan and a big admirer of Dirk Nowitzki*
Q: What was it like being around him and is he as big of a joker that everyone makes him out to be?
Collinsworth: “He’s a great guy. For the four months I was there, he took great care of me. He’s just a stand-up guy. He’s everything you hear. It’s great to see such a superstar handle himself that way.”
Q: With everyone at this league trying to prove they deserve to move to the next level (the NBA) as an individual, is it harder to play as a team?
Collinsworth: “It can be tough because everyone is trying to get theirs and get their stats up. But you know, I think the biggest key that people are looking for is a great teammate. A guy that can do a lot without having to have the ball a lot.”
Q: With guys coming up and down from the NBA and others leaving for opportunities overseas, how difficult can it be to find a groove as a team?
Collinsworth: Last year, we had like 22 (roster moves) so we’re used to that. Guys would be in and out. The next day there’d be a new teammate and one would be gone. That’s just this league. You have to be ready to play with whoever. The biggest saying in life, or this league, is “control what you can control.” Two games ago, I played 40 minutes, tonight I played a little less because Antonius (Cleveland) was here but you’ve just got to control what you can control. Control your effort. Control your attitude. All of those little things– that’s what people look at.”
Q: Obviously you have an ultimate goal you want to accomplish in the future, how do you balance thinking about that goal and focusing on doing well each day in the present?
Collinsworth: “You’ve got to have your goals, but you’ve got to chip away and stay in the present. The future can give you anxiety and you can think too much about the past. So you’ve just got to lock in and stay in the present.”
Collinsworth, a 6’6” wing, finished with 5 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists in 33 minutes on Friday night. The Legends conclude a four game homestand on Saturday night against the Salt Lake City Stars at 7:30.
Follow Dallas Sports Fanatic all season long for more in-depth coverage of the Texas Legends.
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