Kyle and Shea Collinsworth taking unique path to the pros

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Kyle Collinsworth dribbles around a defender during his BYU career. Now Collinsworth is playing in the NBA D-League. (Natalie Stoker)

Kyle and Shea Collinsworth know how to achieve greatness. The two standout BYU athletes have re-written both school and NCAA record books.

In June 2015 they were married in the Salt Lake LDS temple. The two first met in the BYU weight room.

Today the Collinsworths are still achieving athletic greatness, albeit in two very different realms.

Shea is currently living in Provo, finishing her senior year at BYU as a star on the track team, while Kyle is playing in the NBA Developmental League for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate Texas Legends based in Frisco, Texas.

It’s different for sure,” Shea said of spending time away from each other. “But I feel like we’ve grown to appreciate each other’s time more when we can spend time together.”

Although they live over 1,100 miles apart, Kyle has been able to make an occasional visit.

“He had an All-Star break and so he got to be here for a week in February,” Shea said. “It worked out perfectly because he was here for my birthday and Valentine’s day.”

Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Shea Collinsworth races at the 2016 West Prelims. (BYU Photo)

Although being apart has been difficult, Kyle keeps busy trying to climb the ranks in professional basketball.

After signing a two-year partially guaranteed contract with the Dallas Mavericks last July, Kyle was waived from the roster and has had his sights set on returning to the NBA ever since.

“It was a low point getting waived from the Mavs,” Kyle said. “But I think the bounce back has been good. Now I am in the D-League, but I am able to play a lot of minutes and develop other skills.”

Kyle was known for setting the NCAA career triple-double record at BYU, recording 12 of them during his time in Provo.

Now those skills are translating professionally.

Kyle Collinsworth throws down a dunk for the Texas Legends in a NBA D-league game. (Shea Collinsworth)

Kyle is averaging 6.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and four assists per game for the Legends. He’s 25th in the league in rebounding, an impressive feat for a guard.

“I’ve been able to rebound really well,” Kyle said. “Other skills are starting to get better and better as I adjust and get in the rhythm of playing NBA-level basketball.”

Although Shea claims she has a limited knowledge of basketball, she knows what her husband brings to the court.

“Kyle is very persistent and resilient,” Shea said. “He has overcome a lot and keeps overcoming challenges, so I would say that persistence, resilience and determination are big strengths of his.”

Although Kyle is optimistic about his basketball future, he does miss certain aspects of playing at BYU.

I was watching the BYU-Gonzaga game,” Kyle said. “And I miss moments like that. My junior and senior year we beat Gonzaga, and moments like that are special. Especially around this time of year everyone pays attention to college hoops.”

Shea is trying to soak up her college athletic experience in her final season as a Cougar. Shea has a legitimate shot at an 800-meter national championship and will also run a leg of the distance medley relay at nationals.

She said she’s ready to race.

“I just want to compete,” Shea said. “I’ve put in the work. The hay is in the barn as coach would say, and I have set goals for myself.”

Shea has already shattered the BYU school record with a time of 2:01.42 in the 800-meter this season. That performance is also good for fifth all-time in the NCAA.

While Kyle won’t be able to make it to indoor nationals because of his schedule, he said he can’t wait to watch his wife tear up the track in June for outdoor nationals.

In between practice sessions and breakout performances, the couple has also launched a blog to help aspiring athletes improve on and off the field called athletesguide5.com.

Kyle has a lot of down time, and so he spends more time with it,” Shea said. “We are both super passionate about health and fitness, and it’s kind of a way to share what we’ve learned with other athletes that want to get better.”

The blog is a great way for fans to follow both Kyle and Shea as they continue in their athletic careers, which seem to be heading for great success.

As of right now we are just living in the present,” Shea said. “We have goals, but we will have to see. There’s a lot that’s up in the air.”

Kyle echoed Shea’s sentiments.

I don’t have to worry about going to school, or meeting with tutors. It’s just straight up basketball,” Kyle said. “We’ll see what happens. We will play in the summer league and just go from there.”

The Collinsworths — both on the court and on the track — will continue striving for their goals by taking their own advice.

“Believe in yourself and understand that with hard work and involving God in your process, you can make anything happen,” Kyle wrote on his blog. “Sometimes all we need is just a little belief in ourselves.”

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