I think he meant that he was an average college basketball player and was not directly referring to his athleticism. Technically anybody that plays sports in college is a collegiate athlete. They don't necessarily have to be athletic. Take Craig Stadler for example - played golf at USC and was a collegiate athlete. But he was not athletic.
"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."