Will Opsahl will follow family tradition of playing men's college basketball

Wheeler’s Isaiah Collier, nation’s top point guard, commits to Southern Cal

Nov. 16—MARIETTA — Wheeler’s Isaiah Collier could have picked just about any Division I program to play his college basketball.

However, for the five-star point guard, family was a big reason in his decision.

Collier thing Southern California over Michigan, Cincinnati and UCLA on Wednesday. He made the announcement in front of family, friends, teammates and a national audience on Instagram Live during a signing ceremony at Wheeler Arena.

“I loved the family atmosphere,” Collier said about the Trojans. “My relationship with all the coaches is fantastic. We have a strong bond. We talk about much more than just basketball.”

In addition, Collier’s mother, Chandra, is originally from the Los Angeles area and he still has a lot of relatives there to help make the transition to a new school more than 2,000 miles from home.

“Definitely, the relationship I built with every single coach on the coaching staff,” Collier said. “I definitely have a lot of family out there and family is a big thing for me right now. Family is everything to me.”

Collier, considered the nation’s No. 1 point guard and No. 4 overall player in the class of 2023 by 247Sports’ composite rankings, gives Southern Cal a top-10 recruiting class for the second straight season.

Adam Finkelstein, director of scouting for 247Sports, wrote that the 6-foot-4, 205-pound playmaker is a unique talent.

“His combination of positional size, strength, instincts and overall feel for the game is unmatched,” Finkelstein wrote. “He sees the floor at a very high-level and very literally makes the game easier for his teammates. He has all types of passes in his bag — he reads ball-screens well, is poised probing the lane with terrific change of pace, very good penetrating to pitch, able to throw darts off the dribble with either hand, or use his size to throw over top of defenders. He has the size and strength to get downhill in the open court, although he could still get the ball out in front of him a bit more, and a lot of craft finishing in the lane. He’s a solid, but not totally dynamic, athlete, and better able to different himself with his size and strength. He also projects defensively with his size, instincts , and physicality.”

Collier, who helped lead Wheeler to the 2021 Class AAAAA state championship, averaged 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists last season. This summer, he competed in USA Basketball’s under-18 camp and was the MVP of the Curry Camp, Stephen Curry’s elite-prospect camp in San Francisco.

Collier will not be the only Wheeler standing out heading to Hollywood.

Four-star forward Arrinten Page, who committed to Southern Cal earlier this fall, will be going with him. Page said he was happy to be heading west with a friend and teammate, but he said he was caught a little off-guard by the decision.

Wheeler coach Larry Thompson said going to the same program will be good for the duo.

“It helps a lot,” Thompson said. “When times get tough, and they will get tough, they will have someone to lean on. It’s always good to be able to pick each other up.”

Collier and Page continue what has been a steady pipeline of Wheeler standouts to the Pac-12 Conference over the years. Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Jaylen Brown signed with California out of high school before going on to successful NBA careers, while Jordan Usher also went to Southern Cal before ending his college career at Georgia Tech.

Collier, Page and the Wildcats will open the season against Etowah on Saturday at the Hillgrove Tip-Off Classic.

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