84-year-old basketball referee returns to court after recovering from COVID-19

84-year-old basketball referee returns to court after recovering from COVID-19

ROCKPORT, Ind. (WFIE) - A local man is back doing what he loves out on the court after a bout with the coronavirus.

84-year-old Bob Collins referees Indiana high school basketball games along with his two sons. A couple weeks ago, Collins tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’m in good shape and everything, I knew I wouldn’t have any trouble,” Collins said. “All I had to do was quarantine, you know, but together with my wife and myself - we were quarantined for about a month. It takes a lot out of you. You run a little fever for about five days.”

“When you hear of people (84 years old) who get COVID, you wonder if they’re going to recover,” Tom Collins, Bob’s son said. “So not only did he recover from it, but he’s back out on the court with us tonight.”

On Friday, Collins and his sons officiated the Gibson Southern-South Spencer game together.

“The three of us have been refereeing together for about 15 years or so,” Tom said. “For officials, it’s always easier to work with a crew you’re familiar with, and I don’t know how you could get any more familiar with each other than we are.”

[HIGHLIGHTS: Gibson Southern vs. South Spencer]

For the elder Collins, Friday’s contest was the first varsity game he’s refereed since recovering from COVID-19, and he did it with his family right by his side.

“It’s the greatest in the world,” Bob said. “These two guys are two of the better referees you’re going to see anywhere. They referee because they love it.”

“It’s an honor for me to do it,” he continued. “Probably not many guys anywhere can say they work with two of their sons.”

The 84-year old Collins was a head basketball coach for 20 years, and has now been a licensed official in Indiana for 60 years.

The Collins family says there is more than 100 years of basketball officiating experience between the three of them, and they are glad to see the elder Collins back up and running

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