||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
Holley electric on court
Holley electric on court
By Jeff Cunningham | email@example.com
HAMPTON -- What is it about Myles Holley that makes people watching him play stand up and take notice?
Is it his athleticism, the amazing ability to jump out of the gym? Is it his speed, the way he'll simply blow by a defender en route to the hoop? Is it his jump shot, with a smooth follow-through and a pretty spin on the ball as it gently passes through the net?
Whatever it is, the Booker T. Washington graduate had it in spades Tuesday night at the Hampton Coliseum, pouring in 25 points and grabbing four rebounds in the East's 103-99 win over the West in the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game.
"I just took my time out there," Holley said. "Take whatever the (defense) gives me. That's all you can do sometimes."
Holley's "money," as he puts it, is driving to the basket and using his speed to get by defenders. In fact, he did so several times Tuesday night -- the first being a missed dunk in the first quarter after he drove left on his defender from the top of the key.
Not to be deterred, Holley flushed a two-handed jam moments later on a transition play.
In the second quarter, Holley showed more of his blazing speed, running to the right of the West's Adam Hood and slamming one home from the baseline for two of his 15 first-half points.
But whereas Holley's money worked almost exclusively when he was a role player on the Bookers' 2006 Group AAA state championship team, he knew the money wouldn't be good enough this season. He knew he had to take a leadership role with a young team, but more importantly, he knew he had to change his game.
And it wasn't because head coach Darren Sanderlin told him to; Holley figured it out on his own.
"I knew at the beginning of the season what I had to do," he said. "It all goes back to taking what the defense gives me. If they take away the inside, I need to look at the perimeter.
"And vice versa."
So Holley began working on a jump shot, a fluid motion where the ball leaves his fingertips with a slow, but tight, spiral. He says the shot became more consistent as the season progressed, and now even when he does miss, it isn't by much.
He called upon that shot four times in his 10-for-17 effort Tuesday, making a pair of 3-pointers from the wing. For all the spectacular dunks and acrobatic moves to the hoop, Holley knows his ability from behind the arc makes those moves all the more dangerous.
Like a play he made in the fourth quarter Tuesday, where he drove baseline to the hoop. His ascent led him past one defender and he reached out to lay the ball in when another defender came from the help side into his field of vision. Holley then seemed to hover in mid-air, waiting for the second defender to fly past before he let the ball roll off his hand and into the net.
"I like having options," he said.
But the athleticism helps more than just Holley's scoring; this is, after all, someone who averaged 13.5 rebounds a game in the postseason this year as the Bookers advanced to the state semifinals. And though Holley had just four boards Tuesday, there were a few occasions where he could've had a rebound, as high as he jumped and as forcefully as he stuck his hand in the crowd to get the ball.
In fact, his rebound in the second quarter off a missed trey from the West's Dockery saw Holley leap to where his elbow nearly reached the rim.
For as much as Holley smiles after a rebound -- or even an attempted rebound he gets a hand on, only to see the ball fall out of bounds -- he smiles more on defense. Not while facing whoever he's guarding, but after a defensive stop. A block, a redirected shot, Holley smiles after making a play.
Why? He just loves it.
"I love playing defense," Holley said. "Always loved playing defense. That's something Coach (Sanderlin) has instilled in us from day one. Love playing D."
To the untrained eye, Holley runs around with a bit of a limp and his left knee sports a brace. But the 6-foot-5 paradigm of versatility says nothing's wrong with him.
"The brace is just for protection," he said. "It's a preventative measure more than anything."
If anything was bothering Holley Tuesday, it was his right wrist. He attempted an over-the-shoulder dunk during warm-ups, but misjudged the distance. The ball banged off the back of the rim and Holley's wrist banged against the front of it.
It was sore for several minutes, but Holley said it was fine by the time the referee threw the ball in the air.
Despite being unable to play in his freshman year at Johnson C. Smith because of academic issues, Holley will take the court again next week at the school's summer camp.
NANSEMOND RIVER'S BROWN STRUGGLES
Recent Nansemond River graduate Mark Brown scored just five points on 2-for-9 shooting Tuesday. The 6-foot-4 guard/forward took nothing but jump shots, missing all but a 14-footer from the wing and a 3-pointer.
He did contribute defensively, though, recording one steal and forcing another turnover in his limited action from the bench.
Brown will play for Div. II Chowan College.
Last edited by Jeff Cunningham : 07-11-2007 at 01:52 AM.
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Supreme Court says no to recruiting||Lynn Burke||High school sports in general||10||12-06-2007 06:13 PM|
|Trucking from court to grass||Jeff Cunningham||Eastern Region Football||0||08-29-2007 08:12 PM|
|Mid-Atlantic Open Clay Court results, matchups from 7/9-10||Sonny Dearth||Girls tennis||0||07-10-2007 12:20 PM|
|Mid-Atlantic Open Clay Court results, matchups from 7/9-10||Sonny Dearth||Boys tennis||0||07-10-2007 12:20 PM|