Everyone loves a good comeback story, especially in the world of sports.
For example, stories of Adrian Peterson and his torn ACL and Paul George and his fractured leg are often retold and celebrated. They highlight the beautiful resilience and determination of the human spirit and inspire many others in the same situation who may be feeling helpless. This is another one of those stories, though it ends in an unconventional way.
LaMarqus Collins was a young and promising basketball player who had played for three and a half years in Venice, Italy, when he figured in a horrific injury where he tore his ACL and meniscus. His dream of making it to the NBA was dashed in an instant. He was crushed.
LaMarqus underwent rehab for his injuries. It was a rough and rigorous journey, and he had to push himself hard while nursing his career heartbreak. The countless hours that he put into physical and mental work slowly paid off. Through the process of trying to get healthy and being fit again, he fell in love with training and working out. This positivity brought him and others together. And this positivity and love for fitness bought him and others together. This band of people eventually became Smakkfitness, a gym that trains celebrities and pro athletes.
LaMarqus brings the Wilmington area a record of exceptional leadership and people skills along with strategic vision on how the fitness center will benefit the community. Prior to opening the gym, he worked in various positions as a manager, personal trainer, marketer, and road manager for music artists.
He is the chief executive officer for Smakk Fitness LLC and executive manager and artist at Training Camp Music, children’s nonprofit founder, and author. LaMarqus is passionate about his advocacies, and he has traveled all over the world to spread the word on different topics such as autism. In 2014, he was invited to speak at an event hosted in Louisiana for autism awareness. LaMarqus was so inspired and humbled by this experience that he set out and started his own nonprofit organization, SmakkDaddy Foundation, which stands for Smart Men Actively Karing 4 Kids. He has very strong ties in the community, especially the youth. He volunteered for several years as a coach for the youth at the New Castle County Police Athletic Club as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware.
He has a nine-year-old daughter himself named Naviyah Collins, who is in gymnastics and takes swimming lessons in her spare time.
LaMarqus has written and independently published two e-books on Amazon titled Johnny Be Bad parts 1 and 2. The series warns young people about online predators who pretend to be young, relatable people.
From having his dreams taken away from him to recover from a horrific injury to becoming the first minority gym owner in the US to becoming a published author, LaMarqus is proud of the journey he has trod so far, different it may be from the usual athlete comeback tale. “I’m a self-made, self-owned, black-owned business entrepreneur that overcame stigmas, odds, and statistics without any handouts or cosigns. That alone separates me from most!” he proudly says.