North Salem High School’s Avry Holmes has earned a full athletic scholarship to play basketball at the University of San Francisco.
Son of Cathy and the late Rick Holmes, was the 2012 Central Valley Conference Player of the Year. He also received first-team all-state honors as a senior–averaging 20.9 points, 6.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.3 steals.
“He carries that same determination with his school work also, that’s why his grades have always been good. I know Ricky is smiling down on him. We are all so proud of Avry. With all his hard work, he deserves to experience great things,” said his mother Cathy.
Avry, a 6’1″ point guard, will be playing college basketball for Coach Rex Walters, who played in the NBA for ten years, from 1993 to 2003. He played for the New Jersey Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Miami Heat.
“I think the world of Avry Holmes—he’s the one that vouched for me to become the head coach at North Salem. Avry is a hard-nosed player that studies the game well. He wants to be the best he can be,” said Willie Freeman, his coach at North Salem High School. “There aren’t too many kids these days that work as hard as Avry.”
What inspired you to become a basketball player?
My father was a great basketball player—he played for Willamette University. When I was little I’d watch him play and learned a lot from him. My mom also played for Willamette. They continued playing recreationally even after college. Being around that environment I fell in love with the game. I started playing basketball every day. Willie Freeman has been an inspiration to me. He played professionally overseas for seven years. I met him at The Hoop my sophomore year. He helped me improve my shooting form—working with Willie improved my outside shot tremendously.
What kind of things have you done to improve your game?
I started studying point guards that I felt had the same style as mine. I developed a strong work ethic—lifting weights, dribbling skills, shooting skills, defensive skills. My freshman year I started a jump program to improve my leaping ability—I started dunking the ball easier. I also learned that rest was very important. It was hard for me to stay away from the gym, but I knew that if I didn’t get the rest I needed, I could risk injury.
What obstacles have you faced throughout the years?
My freshman year my father had a stroke—he passed away. Losing my father was the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with. I learned so much from him—we were very close. I was able to fight through the emotions and it made me stronger than I could ever be. My drive to become a better basketball player increased—now I play for him every time I step on the court. Early this season, I tore my meniscus and underwent arthroscopic surgery—had to sit out several games. I worked through the injury and the pain and recovered. I helped my team get into the playoffs.
What has basketball taught you about life?
A lot of mental things for sure—discipline. My teammates look up to me. So I want to do all the right things, not only on the court, but off the court as well. Basketball has taught me to get socially involved, because in life you need that. My parents always taught me to do the right things. No one’s perfect—sometimes you make mistakes, but being part of a basketball team you learn from experiences—carrying that the rest of your life. Basketball has been a priority for me—it’s taught me so many things.
What influenced you to make a decision to play at USF?
I had so many Division I schools contact me, Boston College, Cal-Poly, Harvard, U of O, OSU, etc. But Assistant Coach Michael Lee, who played at Kansas for 4 years, kept showing up at all my games. He would drive ten hours to come see me play. He always talked to me after the games and expressed strong interest. Head Coach Rex Walters is a winning coach and is highly respected. They let me know that I would be playing the 1 or the 2 position—I would be a contributor to the team. I felt that playing for Rex Walters would give me the opportunity to play in front of some NBA scouts.
How was your dad supportive, and how is your mom supportive?
Dad let me learn everything I could from him. He never spoon-fed me—made me earn what I got. He taught me to work hard at everything. He played one-on-one with me and told me about the mistakes I made so I could learn from that. He was always there for me—I miss him everyday. Mom gives me rides to the games or wherever I need to go. I try not to ask her for help on my homework because I know how hard she works at her job. So I rely on friends for that. She’s there to buy what I need and to take care of me however she can. She’s always making sure I’m on the right track—keeping me away from negative influences. My family is real important to me – I’m thankful for them.
What is your major in College? Include your high school GPA.
The first year I want to explore, but I’m leaning toward Business Management or Sports Management. I want to be financially stable so I want to choose something that will provide for me. My GPA is 3.4.
What are your future plans, do you have a goal in mind?
I would really love to play in the NBA someday. I believe that it can happen. If I ever get to the point where I make a lot of money, I would be sure and give back to the community. If that doesn’t work out, I would love to have a job that helps kids. I enjoy being around kids and teaching them positive things. My dad had a job that helped troubled kids—it would be an honor to follow in his footsteps.