ROSEVILLE — Following his ninth-grade season at Roseville, Elijah Collier made a decision that might have changed his future: he decided to give up playing multiple high school sports and focus solely on basketball.
It was a decision that not everybody necessarily agreed with, as Collier said there were some who thought the sport he was best at was football. Regardless, Collier said his “heart was to play basketball.”
While it is hard to know for sure what would have happened had he chosen to continue to play football, what is certain is that Collier has earned the opportunity to take his game to the college level, as he is slated to play for Macomb Community College next season.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “Any chance you get to play at the next level is good news. Playing on a higher level is a great opportunity.”
Collier’s accomplishments at Roseville include being chosen as a captain his junior and senior seasons, along with being selected third-team All-Macomb and first-team All-Defense. He was also an All-State honorable mention twice, along with being selected as the team MVP two times.
While his accomplishments as a player resulted in an opportunity to play college basketball, the process he went through to reach that level may have provided Collier with some lessons he can also apply away from the basketball court.
“The harder you work, the more success you get,” said Collier, who cited Roseville’s district championship his senior season as a favorite memory.
Collier also acknowledged support he has received along the way.
“My family’s really supportive,” he said. “Helped move me along. They said just keep working and keep trying to do better each and every day. Same with teachers and coaches along the way — pushed me to work harder and strive for the best.”
Playing for a community college has led to opportunities to play at a four-year school for some players, and Collier would like to be one of them in the future.
“It would be a dream come true,” he said. “When you’re young, you’re looking to play at the big schools. Any opportunity I have to move on from Macomb would be a dream that I’ve had for so long.”
Roseville coach Sean Hansen shared his opinion as to why playing for Macomb could present Collier with a good opportunity.
“Macomb offers a lot of things for Elijah,” he said. “First of all, it’s local. He can stay close to home. I think Macomb is a great place for aspiring four-year athletes to go and begin that journey. The transition from the high school classroom to the college classroom isn’t made easily for most. I think Macomb does a great job preparing the kids in the classroom. Hopefully, Elijah will go and play somewhere at a four-year university. He has the skill set to do so. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see him on ESPN.”
While Hansen said Collier primarily played forward at Roseville, he thought Macomb would play him at the guard position.