UNLV parts ways with star signee Zaon Collins in wake of arrest


Steve Marcus

Former Bishop Gorman basketball player and UNLV commit Zaon Collins, 19, appears in court at the Regional Justice Center Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. Collins is facing DUI and reckless driving counts after a crash that killed a motorist Wednesday afternoon in the southwest valley.

Thu, Jan 7, 2021 (5:33 p.m.)

UNLV took the expected step on Thursday of disassociating itself from former prized recruit Zaon Collins in the wake of his arrest on DUI charges.

Collins signed a letter of intent to UNLV in November, but on the afternoon of Dec. 31 he was arrested after a car crash that killed the driver of the other vehicle. Collins subsequently tested positive for THC, according to the district attorney’s office.

On Thursday UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger released a statement saying that Collins would no longer attend the university.

"We have talked with the Collins family and have come to the mutual decision that it is in the best interest of everyone that Zaon focus on his other priorities and will not be joining our program,” Otzelberger said. “It is a tragic situation and our hearts and prayers go out to all that have been impacted."

Collins, one of the highest rated prospects in the Class of 2021, committed to UNLV in August and was touted by the program as a future cornerstone. The point guard led Bishop Gorman to three state championships and averaged 14 points, eight assists and three steals per game last year as a junior.

The same day UNLV announced Collins would no longer be joining the program, Clark County district attorney Steve Wolfson announced Collins is being charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving. Those charges are punishable by up to 26 years in prison.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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