CJ McCollum has long been billed as a forward thinker, and for good reason. The third year guard is quite candid about his post-playing career intentions. He wants to cover the NBA.
Before McCollum was posting 20-point games in black and red, he was posting articles in 12-point font for "The Brown and White," Lehigh University’s student newspaper. He graduated from Lehigh with a journalism degree in 2013, and has since been keen to continue building his resume parallel to his professional play, which is also beginning to turn heads.
ESPN Staff Writer Ohm Youngmisuk sat down with McCollum to discuss his collegiate past, NBA present, and media future:
"I wasn't a McDonald's All-American, I wasn't a five-star in high school to where I had a signing where I put the (college of choice) hat on ESPN," McCollum said. "My mom and dad were at my signing, another girl who was going D-I for swimming was there.
"I liked it that way because I worked my way up. ... When you come from a small school, you appreciate it that much more."
Seeing how hard his brother had to work on the court and in class at a small school -- Errick starred at Goshen College, a NAIA liberal arts college in Indiana, before bouncing around overseas professionally -- McCollum began honing his game and voice at Lehigh.
As an assistant editor for the school paper -- the "Brown and White" -- McCollum edited, wrote and interned for three years, often covering other sports after having to go through his own basketball practices. He also did work for the school's athletic department's website and a student television station.
"I would go sit and watch [Patriot League championship] tennis matches for six hours and write a recap," McCollum said. "I always knew I was going to make it (to the NBA). But if something happened, injuries or whatever, I would have something to fall back on."
Read Youngmisuk’s full article, here, for more details and extended reflection from McCollum, teammate Damian Lillard, Blazers GM Neil Olshey, as well as McCollum’s mother Kathy Andrews-McCollum.
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