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10 SECONDS with Collin Sullivan

By Justin Siewierski; Editor-in-Chief
On December 15, 2017

with Collin Sullivan 

Justin Siewierski


The next time you walk into Foley Gymnasium for a men’s game, close your eyes. Listen to a play develop. The voices, the screeching of shoes on the floor, the whistle, the fans. Amongst all of that, one voice in particular is louder than the others. If you open your eyes, you won’t find that voice on the floor, or in the stands. Senior captain Collin Sullivan, sidelined in the first semester of the 2017-2018 season, can be found on his feet next to the home team bench. Injury won’t can’t stop #10.

Sullivan suffered an injury at the beginning of the season, and with hopes to return for the second half of his senior year, has continued to stay positive about the way this year has gone. For now, the mathematics education major can be found talking to every teammate that walks on and off the court; telling them what he can see from the bench, pumping them up after a big play, or picking their head up if they start to hang it. Sullivan is the ideal teammate, and when he’s on the court, can change the game without even shooting the basketball. The countless times the 5’10” senior was able to shut down opposing guards shifted momentum in the 2016-2017 season, when the team hosted their first playoff game in over 10 years. As Panthers sit at .500 through their first eight games of the season, Sullivan’s presence on the court has been missed. However, his presence as a captain hasn’t been taken for granted. This week, I had the opportunity to sit with Collin Sullivan for another installment of 10 Seconds.

When did you first start playing basketball?

My earliest memory of playing basketball is probably on my 3rd and 4th grade tra vel team. Growing up, I was playing sports with my best friends year around which was always pretty special. The opportunity made our friend group stronger off the court, and our chemistry stronger on the court. We didn't play too many games, so a lot of my basketball early on came on Saturday mornings when our elementary school would hold Park & Recreation clinics.

W hy did you choose Plymouth?

I chose Plymouth for many reasons. First off, I grew up in Plymouth and I didn't want to be too far from my family. Most people ask me if it's weird going to college in my hometown, but Plymouth is such a fun school and there is always something going on, so it distracts the idea that I'm in my hometown and feels like I'm just at college. Getting back to my reasons though, my family has a history of being Panthers. My Dad played football here back in the 80's and my sister was a junior my freshmen year. I also knew I had the opportunity to play sports here which I knew was a part of my plan. Finally, the math program here is strong which is what I am trying to do in life.

How has the game of basketball influenced you since you started playing?

One thing basketball has taught me is that you need to have a personality. On the court, having a personality can create energy for yourself, amongst your teammates, and even throughout the crowd. The difference between having a personality and not having one on the court could end up deciding the game in the end. With that being said, coming in as a freshman I was a little timid and nervous. Once I learned about having a personality I was able to start seeing some playing time and help my team win some games.

Having your teaching internship this semester, has that affected the way you prepared for this season?

Having my teaching internship this semester has affected the basketball part of my life. At this point, I wake up, teach all day, come home for 30 minutes, then it's down to lift, practice, and study hall every day. So I have been living a pretty busy semester. Basically any free time I have goes to planning out my lessons or to basketball. The time management I've learned throughout my life with school and sports has been a huge help, but this year it's been a little different with how I've managed my free time.

You're someone that Coach Novick can trust defensivel y; he gives you someone to guard and you shut him down. Was defense always the top priority growing up?

In college, my role has shifted towards the defensive stopper. That is something we preach on our team, kind of like the Patriots, is that each person needs to do their job. That wasn't always the case for me though. In high school I was more of an offensive-minded player. I was the go-to guy down the stretch, and the second or third defensive stopper depending on our strategy. The shift in my role in college didn't really affect me though because coach and I were on the same page that defense was my job.

What's been your greatest memory at PSU?

My greatest memory of PSU basketball would probably have to be my sophomore year at UMass Dartmouth. After not playing in the first half, I played the majority of the second half guarding the player of the year in the conference. After a halftime deficit, we were able to come back and win which gave us a spark and turned into our best season in my first three years here.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

In the next five years I see myself being a high school math teacher and a coach. I love football, basketball, and baseball dearly, so I've been telling myself that the first opportunity that arises, I'm taking it. My girlfriend Kayla and I have talked about teaching in the northern Mass/Boston suburbs area because we like being close to the city. Same idea as coaching though, wherever a math opportunity arises I will take it.

You're always the loudest player both on the court and the sidelines, and it doesn't seem like your current injury has affected your team mentality. Walk me through how the first part of this season has been for you.

Being injured during the pre-season and missing the entire first semester definitely isn't the ideal way to start senior year. Once I came to the realization that I would be missing some time, coach and I agreed that the energy I bring on the court needed to stay around somehow. I took on the role as bench captain and whenever someone on the bench or even on the court got down a little, I took responsibility for keeping them up and making sure everyone is still into the game. All I can do myself is to keep rehabbing and be ready to bring my usual energy back onto the court second semester.=

Moving forward, where do you see the team sitting in the LEC come playoff time?

With second semester being mainly conference play, we need to come together and be ready to send a new message into the new year. We haven't gotten off to the most ideal start in conference play, but as a team we're pretty beat up.

We have a few guys hurt, some guys are getting sick here and there, but hopefully with the break coming up we can get healthy again and make some noise in the LEC. We know we have some fight in this team, so when it comes to playoff time, we'll need to give it all we have in order to get that first round win that Plymouth hasn't had since 2004-2005.

What would you tell a recruit if they were interested in coming to Plymouth?

For any recruit coming to Plymouth, the athletic community is extremely welcoming, starting with the administration. Each time you walk into the PE Center, you will run into somebody with a smile on their face in the first five seconds asking how you're doing. You will become friends with people on every team, which expands the social opportunities during your time here. Each team roots for one another because we all want to see each other succeed. Finally, with basketball, you are welcomed in to a family that is there for you and will push you to be better. You will get to know each player and develop a relationship throughout your time together here with them. Coming to Plymouth will be one of the best decisions you will make in life. 

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