Gonzaga's Zach Collins declares for NBA Draft - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga's Zach Collins declares for NBA Draft

Collins first one-and-done player in Gonzaga history Collins first one-and-done player in Gonzaga history

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga freshman center Zach Collins has declared for the NBA Draft, he announced Tuesday. He is exploring his options without hiring an agent at this time, but intends to hire an agent at a later date.
 
"This was a significant decision for my family and me," Collins said in a statement released by the school. "It was definitely one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. I just want to thank everyone at Gonzaga, especially the coaching staff and my teammates. This season was special and something I will never forget. It was the most fun year of my life. I want to thank all of the Zag fans for all of their support and passion. I'll always be proud to be a Zag."

Zach's father Mike Collins told SWX the decision was a very difficult one for his son to make.

"He loves his team, he loves his coaches, the success they've had, and all of a sudden you have to decide whether you're leaving or not," Mike said of Zach's decision. "The coaching staff made a huge pitch to try and get him to stay. They worked hard, and that kind of tore us all apart a little bit, because it's such a hard decision."
 
Collins was the first-ever McDonald's All-American to commit to Gonzaga out of high school, and when he signs with an agent, will officially become the team's first one-and-done ever. If Collins doesn't sign with an agent, he has until May 24 to return to Gonzaga while maintaining his NCAA eligibility. However, the freshman center plans to sign with an agent before this year's NBA Combine, which runs from May 9-14 in Chicago

"That would be the plan, to sign before the combine," Mike said of Zach's future plans to sign with an agent. "Unless there is a huge change in his decision, which I don't expect. But there is going to be a part of this that remains somewhat fluid until that last day on the 24th when you can rescind. But I don't expect that, he doesn't expect that, that's not what he wants to do. But there are some processes we have to go through to make sure there are no surprises in the draft.

In one season at Gonzaga, Collins averaged 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He ranked eighth in the country in field goal percentage, making 65.2 percent of his shots from the field.
 
At the Final Four, he was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 11.5 points and 10 rebounds in the two games in Phoenix, Ariz. He had a double-double in the Bulldogs' national semifinal victory over South Carolina, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He also blocked six of the Gamecocks' shots.

Though Zach only spent a year at Gonzaga, Mike Collins says it left an impression on the entire family.

"The level of love and support we felt from everybody, from the ushers in McCarthey to longtime Zag fans that have been around longer than Coach Few has been around, it's just been nothing but support. Just know that this isn't a decision that Zach made without thought and tremendous struggles. We just appreciate everything they've done for us."

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