More than a week later, the magnitude of what he accomplished is still sinking in for Chauncey Collins.
On March 14, the Oklahoma City Storm guard led his team to its second consecutive national championship in the top level of homeschool boys basketball.
Collins scored 58 points, outplaying one of the nation’s top recruits, North Carolina signee Justin Jackson of Houston HCYA, in a 93-86 double-overtime victory in one of homeschool basketball’s biggest showdowns.
Players such as Collins, who has signed with TCU, and Jackson have helped change the face of homeschool basketball. Jackson, a 6-foot-7 swingman, has been to the homeschool title game four straight years, winning once, and he’s been a fixture at the national tournament.
“They call him the ambassador of homeschool basketball,” Collins said.
Of course, Collins has done a lot in only a couple short years. He joined the Storm as a sophomore but didn’t play varsity games until last season. As a junior and senior, he was undefeated against homeschool teams.
Jackson had 41 points in the title game, but it was Collins who ended Jackson’s night, driving to the rim with the Storm down by three. Jackson fouled out of the game trying to defend Collins.
Following a putback by Jed Warren on Collins’ second free throw, the Storm had tied the game and eventually won in the second overtime.
With HCYA determined to play straight man-to-man defense on Collins, the speedy 6-foot-1 guard spent the night driving the lane, or getting open for the nine 3-pointers he made.
“After the game, I thanked the boys for letting Chauncey do what he did,” Storm coach Kurt Talbott said. “There were times when Chauncey was taking the bulk of our shots, and at times, guys were frustrated with that. But they all played hard and supported him. And even though Chauncey took the bulk of our shots, I felt like it was a team effort to win the game.”
Collins concludes his two-year varsity career with two national championships and two homeschool MVP awards.
“We came from behind in the fourth quarter both years,” Collins said. “The odds were against us both times. This past week, nobody rooted for us. To come out and pull out a victory like that was just great.
“It’s a great feeling. I love it.”
And with players like Collins and Jackson bringing attention — and recruiters — to homeschool basketball, they’re changing its image.
“They’re kids who have chosen to go the homeschool route, and even though they could go play on any public school team, there’s another option, and by choosing that, they showed you can still be a Division I athlete,” Talbott said. “It doesn’t penalize them. They still get recruited. As more kids like them go to high D-I programs, there are going to be more kids who consider homeschool a viable option.”