Tae Collins signed his letter of intent to Mississippi Delta Community College Thursday, securing his spot at the collegiate level, but his ambitions lie beyond that.
The now-former Tallassee basketball player sees the Trojans as a launching pad for a potential D-1 college basketball career, and his coach Keiven Mixson said while presenting the guard at the signing ceremony he believes Collins can get there.
“When he gets in college and starts playing against that competition, that’s really gonna elevate his game,” Mixson said. “And getting in that weight room and adding some weight. I think there’s no doubt, if he does what he’s supposed to, I think in two years he’s gonna play D-1 somewhere.”
Collins, who stands 6-foot-6, was one of the main contributors to a Tallassee team that won back-to-back area titles in 2020 and 2021.
His leadership was essential to the team, too — Mixson called him “glue” for the Tigers.
“He holds the other players accountable,” Mixson said. “He makes sure they’re in the gym playing, and that’s very important. I’m running a high school program here, and I need kids in the gym, and I don’t have to call the kids every day and push them, say, ‘Hey you need to go work out.’”
Collins chose Mississippi Delta because of his strong bond with head coach Derrick Fears, and said they plan to utilize him as a shooting guard. The team runs some four-guard sets, which should afford him the opportunity for plenty of playing time.
“When I talked to the coach, it just felt normal,” Collins said. “It felt like I didn’t have to think about it too much.”
With his length, Mixson said, if Collins can show enough versatility on both offense and defense, he’ll have a good shot to land at a D-1 program.
Perhaps even an SEC school, the coach added.
“There’s not many times you get a 6-foot-6 guard that you say, ‘Hey, he can dribble. He can shoot. He can play defense. He can rebound,” Mixson said. “He can do all of it. So coach Fears, he’s really excited.’”
To get there, Collins said he’ll need to ensure he’s a versatile player, someone who can defend and post up as well as shoot.
He’ll be keeping his academics in check as well.
“I’m really going in there to lock in on my grades, and get my grades right so I can sign a D-1 scholarship,” Collins said.