Jason Collins Bio: Personal Life, NBA, Net Worth & LGBTQ+

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Jason Collins is an American former NBA player who was a center for 13 seasons. Later after his retirement in 2014, he decided to advocate for LGBTQ+ as an openly gay personality.

Being a widely received athlete, Jason only gained much attention after his coming out enlightenment. 

Indeed, as he had always said, a moment of truth can instantly turn your world.

Former Basketball Player, Jason Collins
Former Basketball Player Jason Collins (Source: Instagram)

Well, today, Collins is one of the most influential former athletes.

Jason has played for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, and Brooklyn Nets.

Here are some quick facts about him before getting into details about the basketball player’s life and career.

Quick Facts

Full Name Jason Paul Collins 
Date Of Birth December 2, 1978
Birth Place Los Angeles, California 
Nick Name Dr. Dunk
Religion Christianity 
Nationality American 
Ethnicity Afro-American  
Zodiac Sign  Sagittarius 
Age 45 Years Old
Height 7’0″/2.13 m/213 cm
Weight 255 lb./116 kg
Hair Color Black 
Eye Color Dark Brown
Build Athletic 
Father’s Name Paul Collins
Mother’s Name Portia Collins
Siblings A Twin Brother, Jarron Collins
Education Harvard-Westlake
(Los Angeles, California)
Stanford (1997–2001)
Marital Status Unmarried 
Boyfriend Brunson Green (Since 2014)
Profession Former Basketball Player
Position   Center
Affiliations  New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets
Retirement Date November 19, 2014
Active Years 2001–2014
Net Worth $16 Million
Social Media  Instagram, Twitter
Merch  Signed Framed SI Cover, Adidas Jersey
Last Update  May 2024

Early Life 

Collins (fully named Jason Paul Collins) was born on December 2, 1978, under Sagittarius’ sun sign. He was born to Portia Collins and Paul Collins in Los Angeles, California.

Also, he is the bigger twin brother of Jarron Collins, as he was born eight minutes ahead of him.

Growing up in the Northridge neighborhood, Jason lived a protected childhood. 

Jason’s Brother, Jarron Collins 

Jason’s twin brother, Jarron Collins, is also a part of the NBA. He is the assistant coach for the New Orleans Pelicans and a former player. 

Jarron had devoted ten years to the NBA. He played for the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, and Portland Trail Blazers during his tenure. 

Body Measurements 

Collins is a sturdy man at a listed height of 2.13 m and weighs around 255 lb.

He has a rectangular-shaped face, with black hair and eyes of similar color. Still, his hair is relatively thin. 

As a fun fact, Jason Collins has always been taller than his age; even as a third-grader, he was taller than other kids his age.

He was 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) when he was just a fourth-grader; later, he was already 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) in grade eight. 

Of course, Jason was often teased for his height; however, he later learned its advantage through basketball.

Food Habits

Growing up, Jason Collins ate almost everything. Looking back at his childhood, he often had grits and eggs with bacon, sausage, or ham for breakfast. 

Likewise, his lunch often consisted of sandwiches, chips, fruits, and juice. Lastly, the meal would end with chicken, greens, mac ‘n cheese, cornbread, etc. 

Coming back to the present, Collins is conscious of what he eats. 

Also, as he opened up, his favorite food includes all Japanese foods, especially sushi, which he eats two to three times a week.

Workout Routine 

As for his workout schedule, he doesn’t go easy on himself and follows an intense program. 

Some of the areas he focused more on were CrossFit exercises, cardio, and running on the treadmill. To be in shape, he needed for the game he did a lot of conditioning and strength training. 

Jason Out For Tennis, As A Workout Regime
Jason Out For Tennis, As A Workout Regime (Source: Instagram)

Furthermore, his warmup exercise before the games didn’t just limit to jogging or basic stretching. He would go for detailed abdominal exercises. 

Early Career

High School 

Jason Collins attended the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. He was in high school alongside actor Jason Segel. 

Jason played basketball on the high school team for four years. Also, during high school, he was nicknamed “Dr. Dunk” and had Segel as his backup. 

Additionally, he also contributed to two California Interscholastic Federation state titles. Back then, he had a career rebounding record of 1,500, which stood as a record in California. 

College 

After high school graduation, Jason Collins attended Stanford University. He starred for the Cardinal in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10).

During his collegiate career, he played 73, recording 785 points, 484 rebounds, and 55 assists.

By the end of his college career, he stood first in field goal percentage (.608) and third in blocked shots (89).

Professional Career

Collins averaged 3.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks throughout his NBA career. For a single season, he averaged just seven points or rebounds.

Initially, Houston Rockets selected him in the 2001 NBA Draft as the 18th overall pick in the first round.

NBA Teams 

With the New Jersey Nets, Jason Collins spent seven years, and as a rookie, he played a crucial role in their first-ever NBA Finals berth in 2002.

In 2008, Jason Collins moved to Memphis Grizzlies for cash considerations in exchange for Stromile Swift.

Collins With The Wizards
Collins With The Wizards (Source: Instagram)

He signed with the Atlanta Hawks the next year and stayed with them till the 2010 offseason. Then Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy titled him “the best defense on all year during the tenure.”

Afterward, they traded him to the Boston Celtics on July 31, 2012, and a year later, he was traded to the Washington Wizards. He stood as a free agent and started his intention to join the NBA team again. 

In February 2014, Jason rejoined the Nets on a ten-day contract, which was later extended to the end of the year. Nearing the end of 2014 in November, Jason announced his retirement.

Awards & Achievements 

Jason has played 735 games in the regular season and 95 in the playoffs. He depicts a free throw percentage of .647 and 3 point % of .206 in the regular season. 

Likewise, his 3-point % of .677 in the playoff games. Altogether, his career statistics stand with 2,621 points (3.6 PPG), 2,706 rebounds (3.7 RPG), and 626 (0.9 APG). 

Some of Jason Collins’ major achievements to date are listed below. 

  • National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame – 2013
  • Third-team All-American – NABC (2001)
  • Pete Newell Big Man Award (2001)
  • First-team All-Pac-10 (2001)
  • Fourth-team Parade All-American (1997)

Career Stats

Career GP Min Pts Reb
Total 735 20.4 3.6 3.7

Jason Collins Comes Out As Gay

As we all know, Jason Collins is the first publicly gay athlete to star in any of the four major North American leagues. However, Jason was a closeted gay till 2013. 

Back in his days, he would date girls thinking it would keep things straight, and whenever the talks about girls would pop up, he would dodge them.

Well, he did date girls for a while but later stopped. And when his friends asked about his girlfriend, he would say she was in another city.

On one such event, Collins dated former WNBA center Carolyn Moos for an eight-year relationship. They were even engaged and fixed for a wedding in 2009. However, Collins eventually called it off. 

First Unsaid Move

In 2011, Jason Collins made a small step toward his coming out. The 2011 NBA lockout made him revise his thoughts, and hence, marking the beginning, he chose jersey number ’98’ for him.

This jersey number represented the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in 1998. Most basketball athletes don’t wear a jersey number higher than 55, but Collins had chosen the number ’98.’

Hence, of course, the Celtics manager did ask for its reason. However, Collins just made up a lie for it.

Therefore, he symbolizes this number as his “statement to myself, my family, and my friends.”

Coming Out In Public 

Before opening up to anyone, Jason Collins initially cracked the news to his aunt. Indeed, her immense support gave him the courage to open up to his family and brother. 

He called his agent Arn Tellem and prepared for their announcement only after it. Following it, he talked with John Amaechi, who came out as gay in 2009. 

Among all the announcement ways to choose from, either TV or news, he decided on the first-person narrative with Sports Illustrated. He had an interview for three hours and 45 minutes which was made into a story. 

Appraisals & Supports 

After his announcement went public, Jason Collins received immense support and praise. Everyone tweeted to support him, from his teammates to legendary players like Kobe Bryant.

Not to mention, Collins also gained back-to-back congratulatory calls from Oprah Winfrey, then-first lady Michelle Obama, and then-President Barack Obama.

Similarly, numerous top-ranked sites wrote about his brave act of coming out as gay. 

The same day Sports Illustrated posted Jason Collins’ story, it drew 3.7 million visitors to the magazine’s website, SI.com. 

Post Announcement

Indeed, it was all smiles and happiness until he wasn’t sure if he would land any contract with any team. Also, he was a free agent then and intended to sign a contract; however, not even a single team reached out to him.

In 2014, Collins rejoined the Nets on a ten-day contract and then for the rest of the season.

“When I was younger, I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. And I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.” -Jason Collins.

Net Worth 

Jason Collins depicts a net worth of $16 million as of 2024, and his estimated career earnings are $34,341,007.

At the entry level, Collins signed a four-year contract worth $5,330,184, earning him an annual salary of $1,332,546. 

Following it, his contract was worth $23,600,000 for four years, and his annual salary was $5,900,000.

For a year contract, Jason earned an average of $1,352,181 while earning $82,324 for a ten-day contract. 

On the other hand, Jason Collins portrayed a big endorsement deal with Nike. Also, he stands as the brand ambassador for NBA Cares.

Charity

Jason Collins has worked for numerous causes like LGBTQ support, adoption, orphans, education, children, and equality. Not to mention, he has also raised his voice for equality and civil rights. 

Additionally, he has supported organizations like Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, Point Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and GLSEN. 

He has been awarded Courage Award from GLSEN, LOGO TV’s inaugural Trailblazer Award,  and the Making A Difference Award to honor his works. 

Not to mention, his jerseys have been a top sale after he came out as gay.

As these jerseys stood on the top-earning spot, the collected amount benefitted the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

Boyfriend

As we all know, Collins was initially in a relationship with Carolyn and had even asked her to marry him. Later, he called their wedding off; however, they had no ‘bad blood.’ 

Collins With His Boyfriend, Green
Collins With His Boyfriend, Green (Source: Instagram)

Following it, he was reportedly in a relationship with L.A. & Austin-based TV and film producer Brunson Green.

Still, the news was only made official in 2017, and together they attended the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Social Media

  • Instagram: 7.4k Followers
  • Twitter: 88.5k Followers

Jason is happy in his life with his boyfriend Brunson and uploaded a post celebrating Valentine’s day on Feb 14, 2023.

Search Graph 

The graph illustration of Jason shows average mobility from March to Nov.

Search Graph Of Jason Collins
Graph Illustration Of Jason Collins (Source: Google Trend)

Jason makes headlines with his activist moves and LGBTQ+ initiatives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was the jersey number of Jason Collins?

Jason Collins featured jersey number 34 for the Atlanta Hawks and 98 for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Washington Wizards.

Why did Jason Collins leave the NBA?

He left basketball to be a public advocate for LGBT athletes, as, at least 187 professional athletes talked about issues surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes after his coming out.

Did Collins test positive for Covid-19?

Collins and his partner Brunson Green tested positive for covid-19. He believed that he contracted the coronavirus while traveling to New York City for the Brooklyn Nets Pride Night.

Rajani Gurung
Rajani Gurung
Hey, I'm Rajani! As a digital content writer, I write for several websites on a wide range of topics. At Playersbio, I cover to write about hot trending celebrities and news. My professional experience makes me write the hard topics in a simplified manner for easiness.

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