We take a break from the news of former Penn State basketball players transferring out to some news of newly-hired assistant coach coming into the program. Earlier today, PSU officially announced the hiring of David “Aki” Collins to join Micah Shrewsberry’s staff.
We're excited to announce the addition of Aki Collins (@CoachAk40) to the coaching staff!— Penn State Men’s Basketball (@PennStateMBB) April 7, 2021
Help give Coach Collins a warm & ⚪️ welcome to Happy Valley
More ➡️: https://t.co/QVhGwmtkmU
Collins joins PSU by way of New Mexico, where he spent this past season as the Lobos’ director of basketball operations. Prior to New Mexico, he spent the past several years in the NBA as the amateur scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he was responsible for scouting top collegiate talent for the team to consider drafting, amongst other duties.
Collins was also previously an assistant coach at Memphis from 2012-2015, and at Marquette from 2008-2012. His reputation is that of a solid recruiter, as he most notably helped bring in a consensus Top Five recruiting class to Memphis in 2013. His connections with Shrewsberry go all the way back to the early-mid 2000’s, when they were both on staff at Marshall (Collins was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator while Shrews was a director of basketball operations).
While you might be tempted to raise your eyebrow at the fact that he hasn’t been an “on-court” coach for the last several years, his ability to spot talent and recruit makes this a solid No. 2 assistant hire on paper, with Adam Fisher already being named associate head coach. Given that Aki is a Brooklyn native, perhaps he can help PSU establish some recruiting in-roads into the New York area which much like Philly, is rife with hoops talent.
Welcome aboard, Coach!