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Phillips 66 mom sees son’s NFL dreams come true

Phillips 66 Senior Payroll Advisor Haley Collins is one proud mom. And now, she might just be the biggest Arizona Cardinals fan in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Haley’s son, Zaven Collins, was drafted by the Cardinals with the 16th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. A standout linebacker at Tulsa and the 2020 national defensive player of the year, Zaven is headed to the NFL.

The news doubled as an early Mother’s Day present for Haley, who said there was nothing better than seeing her son’s dreams come true.  

“The look on his face when they called his name,” Haley said. “That’s all I needed as a mother."

Zaven got the much-anticipated call while watching the draft in the company of Haley and family.

It's the same family Haley credits with contributing to Zaven’s success. Haley leaned on her family heavily while raising her son as a single mother. And when it came time to sports — from gymnastics to track to, eventually, football — family in large part made it possible.

“It really does take a village,” said Haley. “But I came from an athletic family. I grew up traveling for softball — it was just bred in us.”

To hear Haley tell it, her Phillips 66 family is part of that village.

“They’ve been with me every step of this journey,” said Haley, who joined Phillips 66 in 2012. “They’ve seen me at my highs and my lows. They have just been so supportive.”

And they, too, celebrated. The Payroll team in Bartlesville surprised Haley earlier this week with an event at the Phillips 66 Adams Building Auditorium. Zaven joined in for the surprise, and they celebrated with cupcakes and tablescapes decorated with photos of younger Zaven. They even showered Haley with crepe paper in Zaven’s high school, college and NFL team colors.

Haley said that since Zaven’s draft, she’s had to get used to a few new realities. Simple errands in her 3,400-population town of Hominy, Oklahoma, are no longer simple.

“I only run out if I have extra time to spare,” said Haley. “A quick trip isn’t quick anymore.”

Another new reality Haley is beginning to wrap her head around is Zaven’s eventual relocation to Arizona this summer. He won’t be alone, however. Going with him will be his close-in-age cousin, Peyton, whom Haley raised alongside her son as her sister travels for work.

“It’s going to be tough,” Haley said. “I’ve never had either of them more than 45 minutes away.”

Despite the mixed emotions, there’s one thing that brings Haley solace and a sense of relief. 

“I’m just so proud of him,” Haley said. “He worked hard, and he did it.”