NBA Dreamin’: Former Terrier John Holland signs (for the summer) with Western Conference Champs.July 7th, 2012 by Sam Perkins
Former Boston University Terrier John Holland is one step closer to his dreams of playing in the NBA. The 2011 America East Player of the Year, Holland is one of 13 players signed to suit up for the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA’s Orlando Summer League.
A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, Holland etched his name across the Terriers record books during his four-year career (2007-2011), ranking in the top-10 in program history in 11 different statistical categories. His 2,212 points, 725 rebounds, 200 steals, 129 games and 4,195 minutes rank second, sixth, first (tied), first and first all-time in program history, respectively.
A 6’5” guard-forward who excelled in run-and-gun transition as well attacking the hoop off the bounce in the half-court, Holland was the recipient of the 2011 Kevin Roberson Award given to the America East regular season Player of the Year.
Holland capped his career by carrying the Terriers to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002, scoring 27 points to go with 10 rebounds in a 56-54 comeback win in the championship game. Holland scored 23 of his points after the intermission, including all of the Terriers points during a 14-0 Terriers’ run which erased a 15-point Stony Brook lead. Holland’s two free-throws with 2.4 seconds left gave the Terriers their first lead of the game as BU punched its ticket to The Big Dance.
After graduating, Holland, spent the summer playing for the Puerto Rican National Team (he was eligible through a Puerto Rican grandparent) before signing his first professional contract to play for Chorale Roanne in the French Pro A league.Suiting up in France’s top league – a league on the cusp of Europe’s elite level of basketball – Holland averaged 14.1 ppg, good for second on the team, along with 4.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.9 steals. Holland shot 54.6 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from behind the arc, earning a spot in the league’s All-Star Game, while playing primarily at the 2-guard position.
Holland reportedly turned down a spot on the Puerto Rican National Team – and potential chance to play in the 2012 Olympics – this summer to pursue his NBA dreams.
The Orlando Summer League schedule spans five games and runs from July 9th through the 12th. Holland will be the first alum of Boston University to suit up in an NBA summer league since Tunji Awojobi (class of 1997) spent the summer of 2003 playing for the New Jersey Nets, and Joey Beard (BU ’98) played with the Boston Celtics summer entry in 2001. More recently, NBA teams extended offers to former Terrier standouts Rashad Bell (’05) and Billy Collins (’03), but the duo passed.Recent America East alums to suit up for NBA clubs in the summer include: Vermont standout Marques Blakely (class of 2010) who spent the 2010 and 2011 summers with the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets, respectively.
Hartford Hawk grad and America East rebounding monster Kenny Adeleke (’06) spent three summers in the NBA summer league, with the then Seattle Super Sonics (2006 and 2007) and San Antonio Spurts (2008).
AE unstoppable-force Taylor Coppenrath, who won three America regular season Player of the Year Awards and led Vermont to three-straight NCAA’s – and who dominated the league in a way that may never be (statistically) approached again – spent the summer of 2005 with the Celtics and with the Indiana Pacers in 2007.
Coppenrath’s partner-in-crime and 2002 AE Player of the Year T.J. Sorrentine (UVM ‘05) played for the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2005.
Sorrentine and Coppenrath’s mentor Trevor Gaines (UVM ’02) – who led the America East in rebounding as a senior in 2002 (and finished seventh in the nation in rebounding and first in offensive rebounding) – played for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the summer of 2002.
And of course, current Minnesota Timberwolves point guard (and former AE super villain) Jose Juan Barea spent the summer of 2006 playing for both the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks before making the Mavericks as an undrafted free agent.
Holland won’t be the only player in the Orlando Summer League with Comm. Ave connections: One-time Terrier Tony Gaffney, who suited up for BU from 2004-2006 before
transferring being run out of town on a rail to UMass, will be playing for the Utah Jazz’ entry.
A chance to showcase his game against young NBA players and hungry NBA-hopefuls is a huge step for Holland, and will greatly raise his stock on the professional market. However, a chance to play in the NBA summer league is still a far cry from “The League,” as the vast majority of players competing are “roster fillers” intended to push the true NBA prospects. Of the seven players with America East ties who have competed in an NBA summer league in recent years, only Barea has logged time in an official NBA game (although, according to most NBA scouts, had they sold out to play in the NBA instead of going with the guaranteed money, both Adeleke and Coppenrath had a very good chance of setting foot in the NBA).
Holland proved that he belonged in upper-level Europe last season, and his improved 3-point shooting was a big step in the right direction. However, he is still a long shot to make the NBA: an “athlete with size” in the America East, as an NBA shooting guard, Holland is at the low end of the talent pool in terms of both athleticism and size.
That won’t stop him from pursuing his dreams this summer. One-Bid Wonders wishes him the best of luck.
The Orlando Summer League runs from July 9th through the 13th. Holland and the Thunder will play five games, all of which are available for viewing on NBA TV. The Thunder’s schedule is as follows:
NBA TV SCHEDULE (July 9-13)
Mon. – OKLAHOMA CITY vs. Boston Celtics, 1 p.m.
Tue. – OKLAHOMA CITY vs. Indiana Pacers, 1 p.m.
Wed. – OKLAHOMA CITY vs. Detroit Piston, 1 p.m.
Thu. – OKLAHOMA CITY vs. Brooklyn Nets, 1 p.m.
Fri. – OKLAHOMA CITY vs. Utah Jazz, 8 a.m.
Tags: Billy Collins, Boston University, BU, JJ Barea, John Holland, Jose Juan Barea, Kenny Adeleke, Marques Blakely, NBA, NBA Summer League, OKC Thunder, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rashad Bell, Summer League, T.J. Sorrentine, Taylor Coppenrath, Terriers, Tony Gaffney, Trevor Gaines