LM Otero, Associated Press
Dallas Mavericks guard Kyle Collinsworth dribbles against Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.

Provo native Kyle Collinsworth grew up with the dream of playing in the NBA. During his time playing for BYU, he saw reaching that goal as a true possibility. And after a record-breaking collegiate career, in July 2016 Collinsworth signed a two-year partially guaranteed contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

Unfortunately that “guarantee” did not assure Collinsworth a place on the team, and after summer league and the Mavericks' training camp, he was unable to secure a spot on the final roster. Instead he played with the Mavs' D-League (now G-League) affiliate the Texas Legends, where in 36 games he averaged a pedestrian 6.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 27.3 minutes per game.

But Collinsworth kept his focus on realizing his NBA goal, and after a solid offseason was able to take his game up a notch (or two). In 18 games for the Legends this season, he averaged 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.7 steals. In his last five G-League games, he significantly increased his production, averaging 19.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

His hard work was rewarded on Dec. 19 when he got the long-awaited phone call. The call came after midnight and Collinsworth was told to report for practice the next morning at 9:30.

So what would his role on the team be?

"They called me up to get in the lane and make plays for myself and others," Collinsworth said. "And to keep the ball in front of me on the defensive end.”

Reaching the NBA is an incredible feat, but the way Collinsworth set goals and then visualized his journey makes his story even more remarkable.

In a recent article on the Texas Legends' website, Asher Feltman reported that “Kyle Collinsworth became a clairvoyant” as he shared a journal entry Collinsworth had written five months prior:

“In August, I wrote a journal entry and I dated it December 31st. I wrote it in August, dated it December 31st and I started the journal entry by saying ‘I’m so blessed to have played in five NBA games so far.’ By December 31st, I had played in five NBA games.”

Joining the Mavs has been a dream come true for Collinsworth, who grew up a fan of the team. When he got the call, he described it as “a surreal feeling. I had a lot of emotions going on in my mind at that point, but was just super excited to get to work and get started.”

Not only was Collinsworth able to sign an NBA contract, but he was immediately put to good use. Indeed, his NBA career started off with a bang as he nailed his first shot attempt in his first game — a 3-pointer that helped the Mavs to a 110-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Collinsworth has played limited minutes since then but continues to work toward his goal of being a valued NBA contributor.

When asked about the differences between playing in the G-League and the NBA, Collinsworth said “obviously speed and athleticism. But I think the biggest difference is I.Q. Everyone is so smart on the court and they make you pay for any little mistake.”

This is certainly a change from his collegiate days where he seemed to know what everyone on the court was doing at all times.

Speaking of those college days, Collinsworth says he enjoys following BYU’s basketball team and maintains ties with several current and former players. He noted that “they are having a great season so far” and that “the new coach (Schroyer) has done a great job, especially defensively.”

Since his time as “Mr. Triple-Double,” Collinsworth has continued to be a student of the game. He has shared his knowledge of basketball, health and fitness with his fans through regular posts on his blog, where he hopes to help others reach their own health goals.

During the holidays, Collinsworth released two ebooks: “Born to be Strong: A Guide to Reclaiming your Natural Strong Body,” and “The Power of Food: Body, Mind, and Spirit.”

Collinsworth said that he wrote the books “to give the person who wants to be healthy and take care of their body a guide.” He said that he has done years of research, which coupled with his own experience has given him the tools to “help anyone gain control of their eating and get the healthy body they want. It's just up to them to follow it.”

More about those books can be found in this BYU insider interview.

2018 could be a make or break year for Collinsworth in the NBA. Fortunately, he has a history of reaching his goals. And now he’s helping others reach theirs as well.

Tyler Christensen is a teacher, writer and web designer. He maintains the blog www.byuinsider.com, which centers on BYU recruiting and statistics. Follow him on Twitter @byu_insider.