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Focus on Kids

Focus on Kids

Star on and off the court.

Atlanta Hawk John Collins is a superhero both on and off the court. – Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

John Collins, the Atlanta Hawks’ dynamic forward/center, is widely recognized for his accomplishments on the court, but he’s equally well known in the philanthropic arena. For his generosity, he was awarded the 2019-2020 Jason Collier Memorial Trophy as the Hawks player who most closely exemplified the characteristics of a community ambassador such as Collier, who passed away in 2005.

The NBA standout has been volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta since he joined the Hawks in 2017. “Both of my parents were in the military, and I spent a lot of time at recreation centers like BBBS,” he says. “I never met successful adults and wanted to help fill that gap.”

Nicknamed the “pied piper” by his mom, he’s lived up to the name by serving as an Honorary Big and hosting scores of kids at games. With the onset of COVID-19, Collins has also been conducting virtual workout camps. In normal times, he’s a frequent visitor at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

A big supporter of the military, Collins works with the Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia that helps veterans on their road to self-sufficiency. “Being part of a military family, I saw how the military supported families by providing housing and other services,” he says. “When I visited retired vets recently, I realized how the military can also let troops down. The harsh reality of meeting them in person inspired me to keep on going.”

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