University Student Uses Basketball to Make a Difference

Senior sport management major Tyler Collins did not take the traditional route when he came to the University of New Haven. Instead, he decided to use his love of basketball to get involved and make a difference.

As a freshman, Collins joined the men’s basketball program as a team manager and began building his relationship with the team. Since then, he has worked his way up to special assistant to the head coach, but the journey wasn’t easy. During his freshman year, he developed an illness that forced him to go back and forth between his home and school, but he knew he had the support of the basketball team on his side.

“The basketball team really motivated me to stay with it and overcome everything, and now I’m here” said Collins.

Collins developed his passion for coaching and player development in high school, where he was also a team manager. This passion continued to grow throughout his time with the men’s basketball program and ultimately came to fruition over the summer when he got an internship with the Hoop Group. He was able to work with players and help them develop and use the skills he learned watching head coach Ted Hotaling to help him achieve his goals.  

“Tyler has been a great addition to our program since he arrived on campus as a freshman, he has earned the respect of coaches, players and administrators with his hard work and commitment,” said Hotaling. “It has been fun to watch him develop and grow as a person and as a professional.  More than anything I value our relationship and appreciate the time and effort he has dedicated to the program.”

This season Collins was promoted to the position of special assistant to the head coach. Collins manages the teams social media accounts and is also involved with community engagement, gameday management and game day promotions. He has also helped to develop special events for the basketball program, such as “Coaches vs Cancer: Sneakers and Suits.” This event allows coaches and their staff across the nation to wear sneakers with their suits during games. It is an effort to raise awareness, and help save lives by raising funds and encouraging people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening, and early detection.

As a sport management major, Collins attributes his success to professors Gil Fried, Dr. Kimberly Mahoney and Dr. Ceyda Mumcu.

“Gil, Kim, and Ceyda have been very supportive of me these past four years,” said Collins. “They have helped me gain the experience and the skills necessary to be successful in the sports industry.”