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UNLV parts ways with former top recruit Zaon Collins following deadly crash

Posted at 4:17 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 23:00:13-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A former top recruit for UNLV's basketball program will no longer join the team following a deadly suspected DUI crash.

RELATED: UNLV recruit Zaon Collins charged with DUI in deadly west Las Vegas crash

On Thursday the men's basketball head coach T.J. Otzelberger said prospective student-athlete Zaon Collins will not join the program.

His full statement reads:

We have talked with the Collins family and have come to the mutual decision that it is in the best interest of everyone that Zaon focus on his other priorities and will not be joining our program. It is a tragic situation and our hearts and prayers go out to all that have been impacted.

Police say Collins was intoxicated and driving nearly 90 mph in a 35 mph speed zone when he crashed into another driver on Fort Apache Road near Blue Diamond Road.

RELATED: Las Vegas basketball player arrested after fatal crash out on house arrest

Eric Echevarria, 52, was killed in the crash.

Collins was a star player at Bishop Gorman High School and had previously signed a commitment to play basketball for UNLV.

His commitment, along with three other new recruits, helped bring the program's 2021 recruiting class to No. 1 in the Mountain West and 14th in the nation.