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Everyone in my family loved sports, and I picked up basketball from a very early age. I was fortunate to grow up with an older brother [Errick McCollum plays overseas in the VTB United League] who had to take me with him wherever he would go. From an early age, I was working on my game with him. We’ve pushed each other to get better since we were younger, and that’s still true today.
I always want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to do my job well and help my team succeed. In-season, I work with my teammates and with my team’s health and performance staff to make sure my off-court training and nutrition is maximized to be as effective as possible. In my free time, I put in extra hours at the gym, getting shots up and continuously working on my game. I also invest time in recovery—yoga, massages, steam room, and using both hot and cold tubs.
I believe in hard work, but I also believe in balance, and for me, that comes in the form of rest. Recovery is a significant part of making sure that I am prepared to do my job at the highest level. On top of cryotherapy and other recovery techniques, I was introduced to Cherrish tart cherry juice last season and was immediately attracted to its anti-inflammatory properties. One of the major benefits that I’ve experienced so far is great sleep and waking up feeling refreshed. It’s become another staple in my recovery toolbox.
I recognize that my platform allows me to serve others, and this is a privilege I take very seriously. Two of my biggest platforms are the Press Pass program and the CJ McCollum Dream Centers. The Press Pass program is a mentorship program that provides opportunities for local Portland high school students to get experience in journalism. I also work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland on the CJ McCollum Dream Centers, an initiative that allows us to provide safe spaces for youth from underserved communities to learn, explore, create, and grow.