Not being selected in the NBA Draft is often a factor in players deciding that professional basketball is not for them and then going off the rails a bit. It can be difficult to receive so much praise and believing that this is your time, only to find that no club wanted to take a chance on the belief and skills that you had at your disposal. This is why it is always good to hear about a player that is able to bounce back from this sort of crushing blow and if you are looking for a story that may yet have a happy ending with respect to the NBA; it could be on offer from Justin Holiday.
Holiday was tipped to be selected in the NBA Draft of 2011 but he was overlooked. While some players may have sulked and moaned, Holiday set off for Europe, taking part in the top basketball league in Belgium. Here he honed his skilled while taking lessons in many life skills including cooking and learning Dutch.
Some players have to bounce back many times
From here he managed to make it back to the NBA but again, he may have felt a crushing sense of disappointment in the 2012/13 season when he only managed 9 games for the 76ers. This came after the player had racked up 47 games in the Development league, but again, Holiday never let it bother him or put him off having dreams of playing in the NBA.
The player spoke about his journey, saying;
I never thought I’d play overseas, and I never thought I’d play in the D-League. Now I’ve done both. There were a lot of things I needed to learn. Now I can have happiness, regardless of what happens. You can’t be a child just because life isn’t happening the way you wanted. You can’t give up, especially if you know you have the talent to be there. You have to put in the work to get here, and I’m here.
Holiday has a new chance of success for the 2014/15 season
This is definitely the right sort of attitude players need to have and when Holiday refers to “here”, he is talking about a training camp with the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have 14 players under contract, which means that they have one more space open and Holiday wants it. He isn’t alone though, as there are four players in the running for the last remaining spot with the team, but there is no getting away from the fact that Holiday has suffered the bumps and bruises along the way that will ensure he has more than enough determination to give this his very best shot.
Steve Kerr, the Head Coach, believes in the player and he also believes in the person that Holiday has turned into. Kerr said;
He’s an unbelievable guy. He’s a great worker, he’s smart and he’s a team guy. Justin belongs in this league. All the guys who are forced to go that route gain a pretty healthy perspective. They gain some wisdom, and they understand what it takes. They keep grinding, knowing that nothing is given and everything is earned. That’s one of the reasons I love him, along with the fact that he’s a really good player.
This is definitely high praise for the player but of course, it won’t mean that much unless Holiday receives a contract with the team. Holiday has a younger brother in the NBA, Jrue, who was a first pick in the Draft and who has already been an NBA All-Star. The pair have a younger sister who earned a basketball scholarship with UCLA but has sadly had to retire due to suffering a concussion and there is also a younger brother Aaron who is tipped to be the best player of the entire family!