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After an off-season full of new faces, we can’t forget the familiar ones.  Nick Collison represents the Thunder organization just as well as anybody.  He has stuck with this organization through thick and thin. Because of this, Thunder fans will always be thankful for the guy with the best hair in the NBA, Mr. Nicky C.

Collison was born in Orange City, Iowa on October 26th, 1980. He played high school basketball at Falls High School. In 1999, he was named to the McDonald’s All-American team.

He played four years of college ball at Kansas, and led them to two Final Four appearances. At the end of his career at Kansas, he was the leading scorer in Big 12 history. His senior season the Jayhawks made it to the National Championship, but fell short 81-78 to Carmelo Anthony’s Syracuse team. During halftime of the Kansas-Michigan State game on November 25, 2003, his #4 jersey was retired for all he had accomplished as a Jayhawk.

In the 2003 NBA draft, the Seattle SuperSonics selected Nick Collison as the 12th overall pick. As a rookie, he played all 82 games and averaged 5.6 points in just 17 minutes per game. He is the only player left from the SuperSonics era. After the team relocated in 2008, he continued to make his home in Seattle.

Collison has always been a solid bench player for the Thunder. No matter the situation, the score, or the opponent, he is always willing to sacrifice his body for the team. He was a huge part of the Finals run the Thunder made back in 2012. His hustle and veteran leadership made the difference for the team that season.

On February 3, 2015 Nick Collison signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract extension with the Thunder. This contract basically set in stone that he will retire here in Oklahoma City. It has been really fun to watch him hustle and take charges over the years. He will certainly be missed when he retires. Thunder Nation is forever thankful for Nicky C.

Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter.