Collis B. Temple Jr.
Collis B. Temple Jr. was born in 1952 at Beacham Memorial Hospital in Magnolia, Mississippi. He grew up in Kentwood, Louisiana with five older sisters, and English teacher mom and a dad who was principal of O.W. Dillon High School. Collis’ dad taught him the importance of early rising and work. From 8 year old until he was 15, Collis arose a 4:30 each day to complete his livestock chores. He raised show calves and hogs for competing in 4-H Club activities. This rigorous routine did not deter Collis from successful academics and extra-curricular sports. In high school he was a 3-sport athlete – quarterback in football; forward/center in basketball and long jump and javelin throw in track. The Fifth Circuit Federal Court ordered school desegregation to begin the 1969-70 school year. All high school students in Kentwood were required to attend Kentwood High. Elementary students were to attend O.W. Dillon High School. Collis was in his senior year. In spite of this new experience that caused some students trauma, he accepted and coped with the changes. He was assigned a new position on the football team – tight end and defensive end. Ironically the 1969-70 team, under coaches Elton Shaw and Raymond Coleman, won the state championship in their division. The basketball team was state runner up that year. Collis was named to the All-State rosters of both teams. These performances netted recruitment in both sports by over fifty college and universities. After making visits to several universities, that included the University of Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, and Houston, Louisiana’s Governor John McKiethen invited Collis and his parents to the Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge. At that meeting, Coach Press Maravich and his staff attended and made an offer for Collis to attend Louisiana State University. After much thought and discussion among members of his family, the visit culminated in Collis becoming the first African American major sport scholarship athlete to attend Louisiana State University.
After his required time on the freshman team, he became a three-year starter for the L.S.U. varsity team. He averaged 15 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a senior. Collis’ academic and athletic performance qualified him to earn both Southeastern Conference All- Academic and all SEC team awards and honors. He completed his college basketball career with 679 points and 472 rebounds with the designation of 8th leading rebounder in L.S.U. history. Collis was one of fifteen LSU players selected by fans and sports writers, as an All-Century team member. In 1995, he was named a member of the Louisiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2010 he was honored and inducted into the LSU Hall of Distinction and in 2017 honored and inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduation, Collis was drafted by the MFL Detroit Lions, the NBA Phoenix Suns and the ABA San Antonio Spurs. He signed with the San Antonio Spurs where he and his Hall of Fame roommate George Gervin played together. Collis also played professional basketball in Europe.
After a short pro-basketball career, Collis returned to L.S.U. to attain a Masters-degree in Business Administration and began a career in a variety of business ventures. In Collis’ entrepreneurial specialties, he established a non-profit organization in 1977 that by this time has housed over 5000 individuals including foster children, adjudicated youths and individuals with disabilities and challenges. The organization continuously provides housing and full care for those individuals, allowing employment for approximately 400 people. Collis is a real estate developer and builder. Through these efforts, he has developed over 500 housing units. He recently acquired the O.W. Dillon (Tangipahoa Parish Training School) site. This site has historical significance in the state of Louisiana having been one of three sites that provided educational opportunities for African Americans. The school was established in 1911. The site is perfect for the development of a facility that will allow the preservation of African American culture in perpetuity. Collis plans a mixed-use facility that includes and early childhood education component, housing for seniors/veterans; recreational venues and historical preservation component. Collis’ civic involvements include service on the L.S.U. Junior Division Board, L.S.U. Alumni Association Board, Tiger Athletic Foundation, National L Club, Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation (BREC) Board, and Greater Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as President of the Guaranty Bank of New Roads and is trustee for his church, Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.
Collis is married to Judge Kelli Terrell Temple. Their daughter Colleen is a scholar and athlete and University Lab School. Their youngest son Garrett is a member of the NBA Memphis Grizzlies. Elliott, the middle son and his wife Ayoi are parents of twins and the oldest son Collis III and his wife Britney are parents of three daughters and a son Collis IV. Collis and Kelli continue to work toward helping to improve the lives of people in every endeavor possible. They enjoy traveling, watching their daughter play volleyball and basketball, spending time with their five grandchildren and getting to watch as many NBA Grizzlies Games as possible.