The Denver Nuggets won the 2022-2023 championship on the strength of their maturity and unselfishness as a team. Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, the since-departed shooting guard Bruce Brown and others exemplified this incredible team dynamic.
The Nuggets are a big-time favorite for the 2023-2024 NBA championship, but the team still has plenty of post-draft needs. As the offseason continues, Nuggets fans are keeping a close eye on news involving Collin Gillespie, the former Villanova Wildcats NCAA basketball legend who helped lead Jay Wright's team to a national championship.
Saying that he's “blessed and grateful,” the current Nuggets guard shared a key injury update that was posted to Nuggets report Chris Dempsey's Twitter account Monday.
Nearly a year ago, a freak play in a pickup game saw Colin Gillespie break his tibia, fibula, and dislocate his ankle. It cost him the entire 22-23 season. But now he is back, part of the #Nuggets summer league team, and talked about the journey to get to this place. pic.twitter.com/KsJK6qIUtg
— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) July 5, 2023
Gillespie is a 6-foot-3, 190 pound guard. He has shown above average awareness on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court during his young basketball career. Gillespie played one game for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the G-League last season. He averaged greater than 15 points twice for the Wildcats in college.
The former Wildcat was also a proficient passer in college, averaging over 4.5 assists twice. Undrafted in 2022, Gillespie was signed to a two-way contract by the Nuggets in 2022.
That year, he suffered a leg fracture that led to surgery and an unfortunate interruption in what had been a promising start to his young professional career. A favorite of the Nuggets' title winning coach Michael Malone, Gillespie averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals in the Las Vegas Summer League last season.
In 2022, Gillespie took a championship game loss to the Kansas Jayhawks especially hard, exiting the court in tears. Now, he's an NBA champion as part of the Nuggets' organization, although he still has a long way to become a contributing player to the NBA's best team.