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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Jarron Collins: Reshaping Himself
For Utah Jazz Through Conditioning--(Oct. 8, 2001)

Here's an interesting story about the importance of getting and staying in shape, and in a way, it's also an excuse for us to get in a shameless plug for our friends over at The Metabolic Project in Westwood, Todd Person and David Wexler. This past summer Dave and Todd both worked out with a lot of pro and college, as well as high school guys, including guys like Baron Davis, Jelani McCoy, Jerome Moiso, and many others, as well as lots of college players, especially those who were working on the NBA draft and getting signed with pro teams.  They worked with guys like USC's Brian Scalabrine, getting him in shape for the draft, and they worked with Jarron Collins, and since this story is sort of about him, it's kind of nice to see that his hard work is paying off.

The article below appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune today, October 8, 2001 (thanks to the Monter Report for originally providing the link to the story).  We've just excerpted that portion of the story describing how Jarron Collins (Stanford, Harvard-Westlake) reshaped himself through workouts and strength and conditioning with the Metabolic guys to get himself ready for the upcoming NBA season:

Collins Reports Reshaped
Monday, October 8,
2001

BY STEVE LUHM
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

BOISE -- When fitness fanatic Karl Malone's telephone rang this summer, he had a pretty good idea that Jazz rookie Jarron Collins was trying to track him down.  "He called me I don't know how many times, wanting to know what he could do to get in shape," Malone said Sunday. "He'd say, 'Karl, this is Jarron, your new teammate. From Stanford.' I'd say, 'I know. I know.' " 

Malone gladly gave the Jazz's second-round draft choice some hints but, like other members of the organization, he didn't know whether they helped until Collins showed up for training camp.  They helped.  The 6-foot-11 Collins weighed 255 pounds during the Rocky Mountain Revue. Two months later, he weighed 235.

"When a guy losses 15 or 20 pounds like he did, you know he's been busting his butt," Malone said.  Said Kevin O'Connor, the Jazz's vice president of basketball operations: "He reshaped his body."

According to Collins, his Jenny Craig Summer resulted from a simple suggestion by Jazz coach Jerry Sloan -- one seconded by O'Connor -- after the Rocky Mountain Revue.  "I want to play in the NBA and I want to play with the Utah Jazz," he said. "It's that simple. It's been a dream of mine. So when coach Sloan and Mr. O'Connor said they wanted me to come back leaner and stronger, that's what I did."

The Jazz used the 53rd pick in the second round of the draft on Collins, a two-year starter at Stanford who averaged 12.8 points and 6.7 rebounds as a senior. During the Rocky Mountain Revue, he played decently -- not spectacularly. But Collins' size made him a prospect, so the Jazz invited him to training camp. 

"He's played pretty good," Sloan said. "He's a no-nonsense guy who tries to do the right thing. he's very coachable. . . . He's got a good chance to play in this league, if he keeps working and improving."  Said Collins: "I'm just trying to play to the best of my abilities. I'm competing for a spot. I'm giving it my all, because I want this." 

Collins gave himself a chance to stick with the Jazz by working so strenuously on his body. In the last two months, he lost weight so quickly that, at one point, his father asked, "Son, are you sure they want you so skinny?" 

Two days after returning to his home in North Hollywood, Calif., from the Rocky Mountain Revue, Collins began working out.  All morning, under the supervision of a personal trainer, Collins lifted weights to upgrade his strength and exercised to improve his cardiovascular capacity. In the afternoon, he worked on his game, individually and during pickup games at nearby UCLA. Scores of NBA players participated. "It was very, very good competition," Collins said. 

While battling the likes of Charlotte's Baron Davis, Cleveland's Andre Miller and others, Collins proved something to himself.  "I realized I can play with these guys," he said. "I realized I can compete with them and on a given day I can beat them. . . . No doubt, it gave me a lot of confidence." 

All along, Collins ate sensibly. And those late snacks? Forget about it. 

"When I was in college, I'd usually have a quesadilla or something before bed," he said. "But all that went out the window."  

Today, Collins hopes to earn a back-up role along Utah's front line. He can play power forward or center, which makes him a valuable commodity in a league desperate for competent power players. 

"It's fun to watch guys improve, and being in shape has really helped him," Sloan said. "Guys who are in shape are usually the first ones who say, 'Hey, I can play this game.' They get into a comfort zone a little quicker. "

The Metabolic Project guys also work regularly with many other pro players, as well as many area high school players.  Most recently, they've started working out ABCD Camp attendee and Utah-signee Tim Drisdom (6'-3" Sr. PG) from Calvary Chapel Downey, and in a few short months of hard work, he's been reshaping himself, to the point that the coaches at Utah almost didn't recognize him when he took his official visit a few weeks ago.  The Metabolic guys work with many others, including Tim's fellow ABCD attendee David Gale (6'-1" Sr. PG), who has been training with Person for the past year, and they've been training others like Ocean View transfer Matt Sargeant (6'-3" So. G), as well as several other local players.  Their style and technique is similar to the kind of training you'd get from other similar training facilities you've probably heard more about (e.g., Plyo-City or Marv Marinovich, who are both popular in Orange County),  and they offer an alternative to those who don't want to or can't take the time to make the commute to Orange County.  Best of all, they're close enough to just about anywhere in metropolitan Los Angeles and with gym facilities right next to UCLA, it also makes it convenient to head over to the men's gym or the Wooden Center for the pickup games.  If you're looking for a trainer and a strength and conditioning coach, they're worth looking into.

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