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Former Provo High, BYU Cougars star Kyle Collinsworth excited for chance to be home, play for Utah Jazz

New Utah Jazz acquisition Kyle Collinsworth, who played at Provo High School and BYU, speaks to the media on Sunday, October 13, 2019 at the Zions Bank Basketball Campus in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ryan McDonald

SALT LAKE CITY — Basketball has taken Kyle Collinsworth plenty of places, but the latest chapter in his career will be just up the road from where he spent his formative years.

The former Provo Bulldog and BYU Cougar star was traded on Friday by the NBA G League’s Raptors 905 (in Canada) to the Salt Lake City Stars, and then on Saturday the Jazz signed him to a deal that will allow him to participate in the remainder of training camp and then play for the Stars if he doesn’t make the NBA roster.

Donning No. 6, Collinsworth on Sunday took part in his first practice with the big club, a team he grew up watching (although he said at a predraft workout with the Jazz in 2016 that he was a Seattle SuperSonics fan growing up).

As much as Collinsworth is looking forward to playing for his local team, he is excited about the chance to be home around family. More particularly, he’s happy he can be with his wife Shea on a more full-time basis. She ran track at BYU and now runs professionally for Nike and trains in Provo, so they’ve had to be apart for periods over the last few years.

“It’s exciting to be able to have an opportunity to play with the Jazz organization and be home,” he said. “Best of both worlds.”

About being able to be with his wife more, he said, “It’s nice to be able to have both of us be able to be here. We’ve paid our dues and we’ve put in the work and it’s nice to be able to be together and stay home.”

The NCAA men’s basketball all-time leader in triple-doubles (Oregon women’s star Sabrina Ionescu broke his record last December), the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Collinsworth is looking forward to the chance to show his versatility in a Jazz system that generally highlights that attribute well.

“I’ve really admired from afar Quin Snyder and the way he carries the organization and just the way they play,” he said. “I’m just excited to be able to make some magic happen and be able to be here and play basketball.”

Snyder, for one, likes the fact that the 28-year-old Collinsworth has shown the ability to do a variety of different things.

“I think he’s a basketball player,” Snyder said. “I think he has the ability to impact the game in a lot of different ways with his size, he can make plays for people, handle the ball. Just a real versatile player. I think he’s excited to have an opportunity to play and get better. That’s been the key for us in bringing guys in that really want to work and like playing. I think that’s what he brings.”

Collinsworth said he hasn’t been told much about what his chances are of making the Jazz roster (Utah has one roster spot open, which was likely down to forwards Stanton Kidd and William Howard before the Collinsworth deal), but he’s looking forward to making the most of his new opportunity.

“For me, I’ve been in these situations where it’s gone in my favor and not in my favor, but I just take it day by day,” he said. “Just stay present, just maximize each day, because you keep thinking ahead and you get anxious a little bit, so I just stay in the moment, enjoy playing basketball, stay grateful.”