Collin’s story

  • 06/03/2013 11:24 am in

From star freshman to overlooked senior, Hartman ready to prove doubters wrong

By Justin Albers

When Collin Hartman verbally committed to Indiana in November of 2010, it came as yet another sign that Tom Crean was taking back the state on the recruiting trail.

Hartman, recognized as one of the top players in the state at the time, committed within 10 minutes of classmate and close friend Devin Davis, and within days of 2011 prize Cody Zeller and weeks of 2012 point guard Yogi Ferrell.

It was a whirlwind period for the Hoosiers on the recruiting front. In the span of only a few months, Crean effectively built the foundation to four different classes. And it all started with Zeller.

For many of those recruits, like Ferrell, the hype only continued to rise after they committed to Indiana. But for Hartman, it has been a different story entirely.

When he committed to Crean and the Hoosiers, he was projected to be near the top when the first rankings for the class were released in the spring. ESPN ranked Hartman No. 22 in the Class of 2013 in January of 2011, and he was No. 82 on the Top 100 in May.

But Hartman’s name soon would be missing from every ranking list. As time went on, fans began murmuring that perhaps Crean had made a mistake by offering Hartman a scholarship so early. He’s an unranked recruit in a stacked 2013 class that now includes Noah Vonleh and Troy Williams.

Hartman is out to prove everybody wrong. He insists his game hasn’t changed, simply the perception of it has. This is Collin Hartman’s story.

Like mother, like son

Hartman grew up in Broken Bow, a small town in west-central Nebraska. His mother, Melissa Compton, a former Indiana All Star at Rushville who played collegiately at both Butler and Nebraska, introduced Collin to basketball at a young age. He began playing in a co-ed church league in kindergarten, and showed an interest in the game almost immediately.

Melissa didn’t enjoy the league quite as much.

“He had just a volunteer dad as a coach, and it just drove me crazy because the dad wasn’t teaching the fundamentals,” says Compton, who was named to this year’s Indiana Silver Anniversary Team. “I know they’re only in kindergarten, but I was like, ‘Oh, come on, you can teach them how to dribble the ball at least.’ So I said, I can’t complain about it, I can coach him. So then the next year I started coaching him.”

Compton would continue coaching Hartman for the next five years in various summer leagues. Hartman’s uncle, Mike Nelson, also helped coach the team, and Hartman has remained close with him.

“It was just a fun family gathering because then the rest of the family started coming,” Compton says.

By the time Hartman’s family moved to the south side of Indianapolis before his second grade year, he had developed a love for the game. He, his brother, Zach (13 months younger), and cousin, Hayden (Collin’s age), played 2-on-1 games on the black top until well after dark every night. The teams were always the same: Hayden and Zach vs. Collin.

So was the result.

“He’d always win,” Melissa says of Collin. “It would frustrate the two other kids, but he’d always win.”

“It was still unfair that they didn’t have a third person,” Hartman says. “But it was always fun. By the end of the night, the ball would be all black and our hands would be black, and my mom would come tell us we had school in the morning, we had to come inside. We would always try to shoot from the garage because that was far to us back then. Looking back, it wasn’t very far, but we were young and it was a long ways for us.”

Hartman says basketball has always been his passion, but that didn’t stop him for trying out some other sports when he was younger. He played baseball until middle school, specializing as a catcher.

“I could get it to second base real quick if somebody tried to steal,” Hartman says.

He also played football up until the eighth grade and contemplated being a two-sport athlete at Cathedral his freshman year. Hartman was a national finalist in the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick contest in 2009, finishing runner-up for his age group. Prior to his freshman year, Hartman could throw a football 70 yards in the air, and he planned to play quarterback for the Irish.

“I went to summer workouts and stuff to see how it was, and I decided it really wasn’t worth it because I really didn’t love the game, I just played it because I was good at,” Hartman says.

“I thought for awhile there it was a toss up between football and basketball,” Compton admits.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Filed to:

  • kennygeorge

    Great story about a Great Young Man!!! Welcome to IU……

  • Dylan Young

    He’s a legit 6’7″ with probably 6’11” length (I’m guessing). He’s also abnormally mature for his age. If he can hit his shot consistently and get better at moving his feet left and right on defense and learn to use his length on defense (see Watford) then he could be a very pleasant surprise next season.

  • jermhoosierfan

    It is going to be very interesting to see how everything shakes out in the first 10 – 15 games with rotations in the line ups. Collin has all the upside in the world. His hard work will pay off for him.

  • Hoosierfan60

    I hope all of the self-proclaimed basketball ‘geniuses’ who knock our recruits read Collin’s mother’s remarks about negative comments on boards.
    Good luck Mr. Hartman. I hope your career as a Hoosier is one that you can be proud of. Hard work, desire and a good dose of natural ability should pay off in the end.

  • skotchie

    I certainly see an upside of his height on the perimeter, someone to grab those long rebounds that can give a team fits on any given night.

  • Mooks

    I can’t wait for this young man to make people eat their words.

  • Colin, I don’t think you’ll make it in the starting lineup until your senior year, if ever. Now go live in the gym and prove me wrong 😉

  • aubreyhouse

    Very good piece! Can you imagine Collin playing on the perimeter with Yogi and Will…. Holy S#!t!

  • lolman

    This kid is an IU player. He cares about accumulating wins, not stats. Welcome to IU! I can’t wait to see what he can do.

  • LL Cool Jurkin

    Hartman may need some improvement on his footwork like most because of the quicker college game, but that will come. Its great to have him. On a side note, my friend seen Remy in Louisville recently wearing a Xavier shirt. It was hard to hear, but that’s when I knew my Abellham Lincoln screen name days were over. haha

  • Daburns0

    When his mom said she read comments on the Internet, I will guarantee you they were mostly here on ITH. People need to remember these are teenagers and we are spectators. Keep that in mind going forward. That doesn’t mean you have to annoint every guy the next Oladipo, just take it easy on the heavy criticism.

  • Miamihoosier

    Etherington and Hartman will be very interesting to follow over the next 2 years. Ferrell and Blackmon Jr will get them open looks, if they can consistently knock them down and play tough D, they’ll get minutes for sure…you can’t run with 3 slashers at once (i.e. Ferrel, Blackmon, and Williams) or our opponents will just pack the lane. We will need at least one of them out there to keep defenses honest, and if Vonleh is a beast on the inside, we might need both of them playing together…..let’s just hope they can get their D locked in at a a high level quickly, bc if not, Crean won’t let them sniff the floor in the Big Ten.

  • Teenagers or not, they need to realize they’re carrying the tradition of an entire state and more on their shoulders when they suit up for IU basketball. Big expectations come with the territory. If their skin is so thin that criticism from random posts on the internet can get them down, then they’re not elite basketball material. IU BB players aren’t average teenagers. They need to grow up fast in many ways. What did MJ and Oladipo do with the heavy criticism when people told them they had no game? Colin can bust his a$$ and prove all the negativity wrong, or he and his mom can focus more on internet comments than on his game.

  • Jeremy Johnson

    Got “redshirt” written all over him.

  • Jeremy Johnson

    So, its OK to be a jerk?

  • hmm. did you not read the article? He reads all our posts about him and doesn’t like the negativity. His mom reads all of them too and wants to strangle me through the computer screen 🙂

  • anrbowen

    Love these types of stories. An excellent read, Justin, thank you. I always say the only two things you can control are your attitude and your effort, and this kid has an excellent handle on both. He’s gonna win a lot of fans over in the next four years.

  • Jerk or not is irrelevant. I’m just pointing out the realities of the situation. Simply telling everyone to be nice is for preschools. You can’t live a sheltered life forever ignoring the fact there are bullies/critics in this world who are going to pick on you for stupid reasons. Let’s see how he responds to his critics.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Good writeup. This kid sounds like the quintessential glue-guy, the sort of blue-collar dude Hoosier teams have had as their backbone for decades now. And that’s awesome. It wouldn’t feel like a proper IU team without one of those sorts of player.

  • kennygeorge

    I can understand that feeling! ha a

  • Daburns0

    I didn’t say you had to be nice. There were some crappy and straight up vicious things said about this guy on here. That will scare a lot of recruits away, especially in-state ones. He seems to have handled them well, just as you say. Everyone wants all these in-state guys, but then we have a fan base that starts to blast them relentlessly when they are down. That’s not good.

    His mom is a mom. That’s what they do. They get offended easily when it comes to their children, and moms help make this decision a lot of the time.

  • John Temple

    There is always a need at IU for a kid like Collin. He strikes me as a bigger version of a Sheehy and Hulls cross. If he works as hard as them, he’ll fit right in and he won’t have the match-up problems of Hulls and even Roth because he is taller and quicker plus he appears to be a solid defender.

  • Bill


    Did you even go to IU? Or are you one of the “I grew up in Indianapolis so it’s only natural I am an IU fan” types? I’m not being rude I’m just asking. And be truthful. The reason I ask is MOST IU fans I know that have an “entitlement” to them or have vocal opinions about the Basketball team didn’t even attend IU-Bloomington.

  • Bill

    Agreed. Almost all my friends that are IU fans didn’t even go to IU they just grew up in Indiana and think they are entitled to being IU fans and being loudmouths and arrogant. Sadly, a lot have never even been to Bloomington. It’s pretty annoying.

  • yep, grew up in Bloomington. Went to Batchelor Middle School, then BHSS, then IU. I don’t personally livein Indiana now, but my business is still in Bloomington, which employs 5 IU grads. I’ll always be a Hoosier.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Off topic but what about these football helmets . Why not go with the silver candy striped one . The football program needs something flashy and off the wall . I still believe Coach Wilson will get it turned around , But gonna have to see something this year in a weak big ten .

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Yeah I’ve gotta change my name … Really wish ole Remy woulda stayed .

  • ScoopGeoff

    Prep school brats? Bit of a wide brush there Mooks… Vonleh, Williams, and Robinson played at preps last year. Hanner and Jurkin from 2012.

    Meanwhile UK only has one prep kid from 2013 (johnson) and 1

  • BTW I don’t think u need to have gone to iu to be a Hoosier fan…

  • Bill

    I don’t think you need to go to IU either. And I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful I was just asking.