Collazo taking his ministry to Olympics

Published 9:10 pm Saturday, July 16, 2016

Steve Collazo is headed to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The former high school coach is a part of Athletes in Action that ministers to athletes. The 2016 Olympics is a major deal for a guy who has coached basketball and golf at Port Neches-Groves High School.
“This is a bucket list,” Collazo said. “It is big. It’s huge.”
Going to the Olympics is even bigger than the time he watched the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals in 1986.
Rio is a big deal. It adds to a busy, fantastic 90 days for Collazo.
It all started when he was standing beside one of the NFL’s most dominant players, J.J. Watt.
Collazo gave the invocation at the Port Arthur News Homecoming Roast of Wade Phillips.
The invocation is usually the first thing on the menu at any event. Watt had to be placed in front of Collazo’s prayer since the Houston Texans defensive end had to head to Nashville for the CMT Awards.
If the Phillips Roast was awesome, the PGA’s U.S. Open was even better. Collazo did not attend the event but he did get to watch his former golf player Andrew Landry compete for the win.
“I had two different tournaments going on that weekend,” Collazo said. “I remember I would hurry up and finish a round and then run in to check his score. Then I would run out and take in a few holes and run back to check the score again. That was great to see him succeed like that.
Now comes the Olympics and the chance to do what Collazo loves to do the most in life, minister to athletes around the globe.
The work starts this coming week when he meets up in Houston with Port Arthur’s own Inika McPherson. McPherson qualified for the 2016 Olympics in the high jump.
“The group likes us to get to know some of the athletes before we head to the Olympics,” Collazo said. “It was a perfect situation with her qualifying and she will be in Houston next week.”
Collazo started his career in coaching in the late 1970s and never dreamed he would be in this position.
He also is not scared about some of the things that concern some folks about traveling to Rio de Janeiro.
“I am focusing on ministry,” Collazo said. “I am focusing more on coaches. My big concern is with everything on in the country is the three big people are dads. Half of the homes, dad is not there. Second are pastors. The church, when done right, can really change a community in the right way.
“The third is coaches. Sports are an international language. People need to take advantage of opportunities you get. They may never come back again. We are just here for a second.”

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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