It has been an exciting year to finally get a chance to see some of these very intriguing freshmen on the courts at their high schools.  It has given them a chance to start their story with the program but also finally get a chance to watch them in a high school setting.

2024 6’4 Zion Collins from Hillside high school in North Carolina is going to be one of the big-time talents to watch for in the class. He has had a strong season so far, averaging nearly seven points, three rebounds, and one assist per game, being a key piece in making the playoffs. 

It has been a year of adjustments but also one that has helped elevate his game early on, as he hopes to continue to be a key piece at Hillside in the coming years.

“I knew I had the ability to play on this level because I played up a lot over the summer in AAU,” Collins said in how playing at a varsity level has helped him with his game.  “It has helped me become more mature, being the first freshman to start and play significant minutes on the high school team in over 10 years… We have a strong team, full of seniors, so every game, I just try to go out there and contribute any way I can.  I think in the coming years, I’ll really show what I can do.  I think I’ve become a lot more athletic and getting used to the physicality and speed of older players.”

Collins has certainly made noise in the past year or so, giving us glimpses of his long-term ability, his scoring capabilities, and awareness on the floor, much of what we saw this summer on multiple occasions.

“It’s easy to see the long-term appeal. Add in his flashes of dominance, and folks should be monitoring his development very closely. He’s already blessed with amazing size, fluidity, and understands the game pretty well on both ends of the floor. Collins played without the ball in his hands a lot throughout the summer but really turned a corner after moving into a role as a primary creator. He’s more than capable of asserting himself as a scorer from all levels. However, Collins is truly at his best when running the team, setting up others, and seizing scoring opportunities within the flow of the action. He’s a dynamic creator with craftiness, vision, and obvious upside remaining.” – Phenom Hoops Evaluation

“6’3 Zion Collins 2024 of Team Thrill NC has transitioned his game to be a more balanced guard both facilitating and scoring which has in my opinion will up his stock as a player. He had a hand in every aspect of the game and was very productive for his team. His ability to score in the flow of the game allows him to be very efficient. He has a knack for creating easy opportunities for himself and his teammates. The part of his game that came as a great surprise was his ability to rebound the ball. As the point guard, he had multiple games where he pulled down double-digit rebounds. He will be a division one guard and will be a great guard for any program that he chooses.” – Phenom Jamboree

Start marking Collins down as one to track, especially this summer as he will certainly be a name to know more about.