Inside Collin Gillespie’s Rise From Unheralded Prospect to Villanova’s Soul

Written by sidhanta

Written by sidhanta

The Wildcats guard went from a high schooler few wanted to offer to the core of a perennially contending team. It wasn’t by accident. 

SAN ANTONIO — In the final March of Collin Gillespie’s remarkable—and remarkably long—college basketball career, his father saw someone fall to the floor during a game at Madison Square Garden. After a few seconds,  

“It might be an ankle,” guessed his wife, Therese. But when Collin tried to rise and couldn’t put any weight on his left leg, Jim knew, “it had to be worse.” 

This was last March, 2021, Big East tournament, Madison Square Garden. Only close friends and family members sat scattered in the stands.  

At halftime, the Villanova team doctor found the Gillespie family and laid out both sides of his initial evaluation. 

The injury was significant, a torn MCL, and would require surgery. But the ACL in that knee appeared still intact, which, in theory, meant a shorter rehabilitation. 

The “good” news did little to salve the family’s devastation. Collin had already played his Senior Day inside an empty gym, absent the usual celebration; he had, to that point, 

Arizona Cardinals hosting free agent guard Will Hernandez