The Lady Tigers will miss Collum’s production next season, but Collum will not miss basketball as she signed to play at Toccoa Falls College Wednesday at Adairsville High.
“She was probably the most offensive-minded female we’ve had, probably since I’ve been here, 10 years. She knew how to score. She was good to look to score when you needed a basket,” Adairsville head coach Meredith Barnhill said. “She played significant time all four years. It’s a huge loss.
“Mallorie’s offense will probably take more than one kid to fill that role.”
Collum was The Daily Tribune News Rookie of the Year as a freshman and went on to make the all-county team twice since then. This past season she averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game.
“I feel like I did everything I wanted to accomplish in my four years at Adairsville,” Collum said of her high school career. “I had goals as far as wanting to play as a freshman and starting, and I also had a goal of scoring 1,000 points.”
Collum was a major part of Adairsville’s improved 2013-14 season, one in which the Lady Tigers finished with a 13-11 overall record and third in Region 5-AAA.
“We were disappointed how the season ended in the tournament, but we hit some milestones. It was a big win when we beat Sonoraville. That was a huge win for our program. We sat tied with Sonoraville for second for the majority of the season. We did accomplish some things this year that we were proud of. We hope to build on it next year,” Barnhill said. “This senior class is going to be hard to replace — all of them. They all had their roles and they all filled their roles very well. They understood them, which is unique.”
Collum averaged double digit points and five rebounds per game in three of her four seasons at Adairsville. Similar to her career at Adairsville, Barnhill believes Collum will contribute all four years at Toccoa Falls, a National Christian College Athletic Association program located in Toccoa.
“It’s a place where I expect Mallorie to step in and contribute right away, so it will be a good fit for her,” Barnhill said of Toccoa Falls. “She’ll be one of their taller kids so she’ll have that same role she had for us. This year she improved. She can step out take that little 10-15 footer. That’ll help her at the next level as well.”
According to U.S. News, Toccoa Falls has an enrollment of 804, something that appealed to Collum.
“I was looking for a smaller campus, just a smaller atmosphere. And I really loved the team when I went up there,” Collum said of her decision. “I feel like, coming from a small town, I just want to focus on getting a good education and be able to do something that I love, which is play basketball at the next level.”
One aspect of Collum’s game that she feels will translate to the next level is the physicality she brings to her team.
“When I was looking for a college to play for, they were putting me at the wing and I’ve been working at that position, but I’ve been playing power forward and center since I started playing, so I’m really comfortable playing there. I believe that the best part of playing, you can score as much as you want, but the physicality, being undersized doesn’t really bother me.”
Collum has similar goals in college to the ones she had at Adairsville and hopes to be an impact player at the next level.
“I just want to be able to compete and be able to play and get playing time. Who knows, I might even get to start,” Collum said. “I just want to really work hard at it. Off the court, I want to focus really hard on my education because I want to teach and coach, so that’s really important to me.”