Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On the Beat With Northwestern Basketball Coach Chris Collins

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of covering the inaugural State Farm Chicago Legends event at the United Center.  This debut event featured Northwestern playing Dayton in the opening game and the University of Illinois battling BYU in the second game.  There would also be a special presentation to a first class of Chicago Legends.
My recaps will appear on Global Traveler and the Patch.  For right here, I am featuring the post-game media session with NU Coach Chris Collins.
I start by saying that I do feel a bit old.  I remember Chris as the kid hanging around his father Doug Collins during his time as coach of the Chicago Bulls.  Actually, I remember pulling a Doug Collins card in one of the first packs of basketball cards I ever got.  Now here is young Chris as the coach of the Wildcats.
Northwestern jumped to a big lead early in the game and held onto it for a 67-64 win.  It did become a bit of a nail-biter in the end, but the Wildcats held thei composure and closed it out.  I'm sure the team was as nervous as the fans, but the played tough through the end and came away with the win.
Coach Collins talked about all of ths in the post-game media session.  He was gracious and professional, but I had the feeling that this game meant a lot to him and the program.  He has done great things since taking over at NU and a win against Dayton at an event like this certainly was impressive.
It was a Chicago event, featuring two Chicago (or Illinois) teams, honoring Chicago legends (the late Coach Ray Meyer and Mark Aguirre).  It was an event that will only get bigger and better.  Being at this first event was extremely special and it will mean even more as the Chicago Legends continues to grow.  I al already looking forward to next year.
I would like to thank the fine folks at KemperLesnik for allowing me access.  Everyone involved was extremely professionald and organized.

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