An early Holiday for UW hoops

Justin Holiday, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, Calif., verbally committed to Washington on his official visit to Seattle this past weekend. He talked with about his trip, his decision, and what it means for younger brother Jrue - already considered to be one of the top hoopsters for the class of 2008.

Holiday flew in Thursday night with his mother and his official visit started Friday. "We had breakfast and then we went to the school and we got to meet the President (Mark Emmert)," Holiday said. "He really likes sports, so that helped me in my decision. Then we went and met (Quincy) Pondexter and ate lunch, because he was my host when I was up there. And then we went back and they practiced and then we played pick-up."

Any thoughts on the run? "The big man (Spencer Hawes) is good," Holiday said. "Justin (Dentmon) and (Ryan) Appleby too."

And he had his run-in with newly-named team captain, Jon Brockman. "I tried to stop him on a fast break and get in the way, but that didn't work," Holiday said with a laugh.

Holiday went to the UCLA-UW football game on Saturday, something he initially didn't have a ton of interest in, but as the crowd got louder, he warmed up to the environment. "That was fun," he said. "It was really loud."

Holiday had some news for UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar while he was up there. "I committed on Saturday after practice," Holiday said, matter-of-factly.

And Romar's reaction? "He was surprised," Holiday said. "That morning he was trying to get information out of me, like what visits I was taking and stuff like that. He had no idea I was going to commit. He seemed happy."

And the other UW coaches? "They are cool people," Holiday said. "They are pretty nice. Cameron Dollar, he's pretty nice. And Coach Shaw, he's pretty nice also. He kept talking to me like, 'out of 10 shots, if you make 7 - this happens. If you make 5 - this happens. He was always talking like that."

While it appears Holiday was having a good time on the visit, his mother was becoming more and more impressed with what she saw. "She's always liked the school," Holiday said. "She likes Coach Romar and how he goes about his recruiting and the way he is. She liked everything about it."

Now that Holiday has made his decision, he will not take any other official visits from here on out. He did visit SMU last week, and had been offered by UW, SMU, Arizona State, Nevada, Texas Tech and USC.

We asked Holiday what he needs to work on as he gets closer to his senior year at Campbell Hall. "As a basketball player, I need to work on everything," he said. "I need to get faster, quicker and stronger too if I have any hopes of having a chance to start. If I was to stay the way I am now and not do anything, I won't have a chance to play."

After Justin told Romar the news about his commitment, he made one more call - to his younger brother Jrue. Jrue is already considered a national elite prospect for the 2008 class. "He told me he knew I was going to," Justin said of his conversation with Jrue. "He told me that he didn't need to call him."

So with the elder Holiday making his college plans known, it inevitably begs the question - will the brothers play together in college? "I guess it's a possibility if he wants to go there," Justin said. "We like playing with each other, but he's not going to make his choice based on where I go. He's going to do his own thing, like I did."

It sounds like Jrue is in no hurry to make his choice, and that besides the Huskies, UCLA, North Carolina and Arizona are considered to be among the frontrunners for the younger Holiday.

Justin Holiday Profile Top Stories