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Former Basketball: Ex-Cajun hoops standout Collins dies

Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, July 18, 2018


Bryan Collins, who led the Cajuns in scoring and rebounder as a senior in 1995, died this week in his hometown of San Antonio. (Photo: File Photo)

His teammates remember him as a “fun-loving” colleague on and off the floor.

UL Ragin’ Cajun basketball fans remember him as a really good rebounder.

Funeral services for former Cajuns standout center Bryan Collins will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.

There will also be a wake from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Lewis Funeral Home in San Antonio.

There are no details available on Collins’ death.

More: Cajuns honoring historic 1992 team

Collins played for coach Marty Fletcher from 1991 through 1995. He was a freshman on UL’s last NCAA Tournament-winning team in 1992.

By the time he was a senior, however, the 6-foot-10, 240-pounder from Sam Houston High in San Antonio led the Cajuns in scoring and rebounding at 13.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.

“He was a heckuva rebounder for us, especially my senior year,” Former teammate Byron Starks said. “I wasn’t around much the year after, but from what I understand, his game really blossomed during his senior year.

“Rebounding, man, he’d battle Melvin Simon and all those guys. He was a big part of us having the success we had.”

Even before he became a full-time starter in his last two seasons at UL, former teammate Eric Mouton remembers Collins helping in practice and on the bench.

“He was a pretty talented player,” Mouton said. “Our main inside guys were guys like Marcus Stokes, Carroll Boudreaux and Cedric Mackyeon. Bryan did a lot of good stuff for us in practice to get us ready for the competition we played.

“I remember him always being into the game and always pulling for us when he was younger.”

Off the floor, Mouton remembers Collins as a “great guy who was always in a great mood.”

“BC was a fun-loving, big Teddy bear, life-of-the-party kind of guy,” Starks said. “He would always be willing to help and go the extra mile for you.”

Boudreaux, however, recollects one incident when Collins’ propensity to clown around produced a memorable conflict.

“Bryan was a good dude,” Boudreaux said. “He just loved to have fun. He was always laughing. He was always clowning.”

It was the Louisiana Tech trip and Boudreaux was intense “really wanting to win that game.”

He tried to get into his room, and Collins had the door locked.

“I said, ‘Man, open the door,’ and he just kept laughing at me through the window,” said Boudreaux, laughing about it now.

“When I got into the room, I body-slammed him on the table and broke the table in the hotel room. He was like, ‘Boudreaux, I was only clowning, man.’ We were young, but that was BC, just trying to have fun.”

On the floor, Boudreaux remembers being in foul trouble against North Carolina in Hawaii and Collins coming off the bench “with an off-the-rim dunk and playing really well against North Carolina.”

By his junior season, Collins was a mainstay for the Cajuns in making his second NCAA Tournament appearance for the Cajuns in his four seasons.

He started 29 of 30 games that season, averaging 9.5 points and 9.4 rebounds. He had 14 double-digit rebound games that season, including 19 in the NCAA loss to Marquette and 17 against Jacksonville.

As a senior, Collins had 15 double-digit rebound games, led by 19 against Jacksonville and 19 against South Alabama. He also had a 28-point, 16-rebound game against the Jaguars earlier this season.

In his final game as a Cajun, Collins went out in style with 25 points and nine rebounds against Western Kentucky.

Collins is the second player to die from the early ’90s era of UL basketball following Tony Moore.

“When I got word and sent it out to the team, it’s really like the death of a family member,” Starks said. “We all still communicate somewhat.”

In fact, Starks said he was asked about Collins just a day or so before he died.

“Todd Hill, Bobby Thigpen and I got together this past Friday eating at Lagneaux’s,” Starks said. “We were reminiscing and talking about everybody and Bobby even mentioned, “Man, I hadn’t heard from BC in a while.’  

“Then on Sunday, that’s when I got the word that he passed away.”

Collins’ daughter, Kaylen, helped Vermilion Catholic to win a state championship in 2013.

“It’s a sad story,” Boudreaux said. “I just couldn’t believe it when I heard it.”

Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.
Click here for the 1994 Men’s Basketball photo gallery featuring Bryan and his teammates.

Click here for Lewis Funeral Home in San Antonio.