This season is Barbi Collins’ first playing Fantasy Basketball.
After a magical Christmas, it certainly won’t be her last.
Collins won Yahoo’s Fantasy Basketball Christmas Sweepstakes and will fly to Los Angeles this weekend for a three-day, two-night trip to take in NBA All-Star Weekend festivities at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Collins, who grew up in Florida rooting for the Heat and Magic but currently resides in Georgia, was incredulous when she received the email notifying her that she had won.
“I almost didn’t even respond to it,” Collins said. “You don’t think you’re ever gonna win these kinds of things. But I was super excited and freaking out. I was on Cloud Nine forever, freaking out.”
It’ll be a special trip for Collins for several reasons. It’ll be her first-ever trip to California. She’ll get to see her first live NBA game when Team LeBron and Team Stephen take the court on Sunday night. And most importantly, she’ll get to spend some quality time traveling with her mom.
“We haven’t done a trip together in 18 years,” Collins said. “I can’t wait to make some more memories with her.”
Collins admitted she lives in a Fantasy Football-first household. She plays alongside her brothers, her husband and several friends in a highly competitive and trash talk-heavy league. But this year, she and several of those same friends decided with football coming to an end it could fun to continue the competition into basketball season with Yahoo’s rollover league option – to carry one sport over to another.
“It was just a way for us to keep in touch and keep razzing on each other,” she said. “The group chat has been special for us.”
Catering to new fantasy users like Barbi as well as seasoned veterans is exactly what the NBA and Yahoo had in mind when the two teamed up again this season. They wanted to offer a head-to-head points format that translates to hoops the same way as it does football and makes for an easy transition to playing Fantasy Basketball.
Competing in the new official NBA Fantasy Game on Yahoo, Collins blew out her friend Nick — a notorious trash talker — by over 500 points in the final week of the 2017, giving her entry into the Sweepstakes. James Harden led the way for Collins’ team that week, putting up 30.8 points, 9.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds over four games. Collins admitted that Harden is one of the players she is most looking forward to seeing in action in Los Angeles.
“All of my friends are so jealous,” she said with a laugh.
Thanks to Harden and a host of other contributors, Collins’ team has managed to keep pace throughout the season, proving her late-December blowout was no fluke. Not bad for someone who had never played Fantasy Basketball before and is ready to make it an annual tradition.
With the All-Star break here, Collins will put the competition aside for an unforgettable weekend with the best players in the world and her mom in the City of Angels.