COLLINGWOOD has landed a major recruiting coup by winning the race for highly touted former basketball prodigy Tom Wilson.

Wilson will join the Pies on a three-year Category B rookie contract, having beaten Geelong, Hawthorn and Gold Coast for his services.

As revealed by, the 21-year-old quit basketball last month, just six weeks after making his debut for the national Boomers outfit. 

It is understood coach Nathan Buckley played a pivotal role in Wilson's move, the Pies coach meeting at least twice with him before his decision.

After stints living and playing in the USA and in Sydney, Wilson's commitment to the Pies came down to his desire to remain in Melbourne where he grew up.

The 194cm athletic prospect previously knocked back an opportunity to join the NAB AFL Academy as a 17-year-old, opting to pursue his dreams of representing Australia in basketball.

Despite pulling on the green and gold in February, the former Sydney King was in a long queue for Olympic selection next year which proved a major factor in his move to leave the sport.

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