Although CJ McCollum got off to a slow start in the National Basketball Association, he has proven that he does not feel overwhelmed. The Shooting Guard of the Portland Trail Blazers has earned the NBA “2016 Most Improved Player” award with over 20 points per game.
The former athlete from Lehigh University, who was twice named Patriot League Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, also has a keen interest in journalism, in which he has a degree. He has worked for a number of NBA websites and has interviewed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, among many others.
CJ McCollum Biography
CJ McCollum, whose full name is Christian James McCollum, was born in Canton, Ohio on September 19, 1991. Growing up, McCollum was not sure if he would ever play professional basketball or even study in college due to his small size. However, after a late growth spurt, during which he gained about 9 inches in height in high school, he became a target for a number of colleges.
McCollum attended GlenOak High School, where he averaged 29.3 points per game in his senior year, becoming the leading scorer in his school’s history. This season he was named “Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year”, whereupon he accepted a scholarship to Lehigh University. McCollum averaged 19.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his rookie season and was named Conference Player of the Year, the first rookie player to receive this award. He was also an honorable mention from AP All-American. In his sophomore year, he averaged 21.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, making him the second first-team All-Conference Player of the Year. As a junior, he was again named Player of the Year after scoring 21.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Despite the rumors that he might forego his A-NBA year because he is considered a top contender for the NBA draft, CJ McCollum returned to Lehigh for his final college season, where he became the conference’s top scorer before suffering a foot injury that ended his season early. McCollum then completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism before being selected by the Portland Trailblazers to be the 10th overall winner in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Wife or Girlfriend, Is He Married or Dating?
CJ McCollum has never been married, he has no wife. However, he does have a girlfriend with whom he has been dating since his student days at Lehigh University. McCollum’s long-time girlfriend is Elise Esposito, a graduate of Behavioral Neurology at Lehigh University; she works as a dental assistant.
Ms. Esposito is said to be from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She attended high school at Bethlehem Catholic High School, and after earning her bachelor’s degree, the Lehigh graduate went back to school to earn a degree in Healthcare Systems Engineering in 2014.
It is not clear whether the wedding bells will ring for the happy couple in the near future. But regardless of what the future holds, McCollum and Esposito seem to be inseparable at the moment, as she is almost always in the stands at every game and supports her husband. She is also an avid user of social media, where she has posted dozens of pictures of them on vacation or just being together.
CJ McCollum’s Brother
CJ McCollum has an older brother who also plays basketball at a professional level. Errick McCollum, who was born in Canton, Ohio on January 22, 1988, played college basketball at Goshen College, where he graduated as the school’s top scorer and reached the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics DII All-American selections in his four years there.
After graduating and not being drafted in 2010, McCollum brought his talents overseas, where he first played in Isreal before going on missions to Greece, China, and Turkey. His trophies to date include the 2016 EuroCup Championship, the 2016 MVP title, and the 2018 Turkish Basketball Cup, as well as leading the Chinese Basketball Federation in the 2015 and 2017 scoring competitions and being named CBA All-Star in 2015.
Height and Weight
CJ McCollum’s height is reported to be 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m), which makes him about 1 inch shorter than the average height of an NBA Shooting Guard. His weight is reported to be 190 pounds (86 kg).