Collins drafted by Hawks in 1st round of NBA draft

Kelly Quinlan, Managing Editor
Deacons Illustrated
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Brad Penner/USAToday

Former Wake Forest big man John Collins was selected with the 19th pick of the 2018 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks.

"First off, I want to say I'm blessed. Happy to be a Hawk. Shows a lot of promise that the organization is willing to take the time to pick me. Like I said, happy to be a Hawk, and ready to give my all for the organization, so go Hawks," Collins said after the selection.

The Hawks have the second longest playoff streak in the NBA, a point not lost on Collins.

"Obviously the organization has a winning culture of being able to make the playoffs consistently for a number of years now, with the front office changes, something is going in the right direction. They're a team that constantly wants to improve and going forward, so as a young guy I want to come in there and learn that winning culture and just bring that to the team.

Collins will move a bit closer to his mother in Florida with the move to Atlanta as well.

"Wherever I went is wherever I went but obviously now that this happened, it's always cool to stay in sort of the same area as Wake, and obviously mom down the road in South Florida. So definitely cool staying in town," he said.

The native of West Palm Beach, Fla., averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during his sophomore season, posting 17 double-doubles while leading the Demon Deacons to their first NCAA appearance since 2010. His 20.3 scoring average in ACC play led the league. Collins led the league in field goal percentage in both conference games (63.9%) and overall (62.2%). His streak of 12 consecutive 20-point games was the longest in ACC play since NC State’s T.J. Warren in 2014 and the longest by a Demon Deacon in over four decades. Collins led the ACC in 20-and-10 games with 10 overall and eight in ACC play.

Collins is the first Demon Deacon selected in the NBA Draft since 2010, when Al-Farouq Aminu was the No. 8 overall selection by the Los Angeles Clippers. He is the second Deac selected by the Hawks, joining Jeff Teague who in 2009 was also the No. 19 overall selection by Atlanta.

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